Chaya, a nobleman’s rebellious, outspoken, no-nonsense daughter, just can’t resist the sapphires, star rubies, and other jeweled temptations the king’s palace has to offer. But playing Robin Hood for her impoverished community doesn’t come without risks, and when Chaya’s caught stealing from the queen’s bedside table, a messy getaway jeopardizes the life of a close friend. As though one close call isn’t enough, an equally haphazard prison break leaves Chaya barely escaping on the king’s prized elephant! There’s still plenty of danger to come, however, once Chaya and her friends enter the jungle. With leeches and bandits lurking around every corner, Chaya leads her companions on a thrilling adventure. But after leaving her village as a thief, can she return as a hero? Or will Chaya’s sticky fingers be the beginning—or the end—of everything for the intrepid gang?
Own Voices debut author Nizrana Farook spins an exciting, page-turning tale in a lush, vibrant, fictional Sri Lankan setting that features themes of friendship and loyalty, risk and reward, and heroism. Escape to Serendib with Chaya and her adventurous companions—and perhaps stumble upon some treasure of your own—in this must-read new middle grade readaloud! Sure to be a thrill for adventure-seekers and fans of a good cliffhanger.
“Farook’s debut is a perfect example of how to keep a novel action-packed while simultaneously developing characters and coloring the world…. Inspired by Farook’s own early roots in Sri Lanka, the vibrant island-country setting is so lush you can practically picture the greenery and taste the tropical breadfruit….lovers of animals and adventure are in for an entertaining ride.” —Booklist
“The lush descriptions of the dense, beautiful jungle and a South Asian–inspired kingdom that evokes Sri Lanka shine through. The elephant, in particular, is a delight…. A lush wilderness adventure story.” —Kirkus Reviews
“One of the many delights of this novel is the sparkling description of Chaya’s rural Sri Lankan village, including the many references to colorful fruits and trees. More rewarding is Chaya’s growth…. A rich and joyful adventure story for those who enjoy daring escapades in a fairy-tale setting.” —School Library Journal
“The setting of jungle island Serendib, a multicultural trade hub closely based on historical Sri Lanka, adds interest and will be useful for collections seeking to broaden #ownvoices South Asian representation.” —The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
Embark on an epic middle grade adventure when The Girl Who Stole an Elephant arrives this March at your local library, indie bookstore, or Barnes & Noble, and be sure to check out the rest of our brand-new picture books and middle grade and YA titles coming to Peachtree this season!