Inspired by the lush terrain of Sri Lanka, this fun tale of friendship, risk, and reward is just right for middle grade fans of fantasy and page-turning adventure. Chaya, a nobleman's rebellious, outspoken, no-nonsense daughter, just can't resist the shiny temptations the king's palace has to offer. But playing Robin Hood for an impoverished community doesn't come without risks, and when Chaya steals the queen's jewels from a bedside table—a messy getaway jeopardizes the life of a close friend. After an equally haphazard prison break, Chaya barely escapes...on the king's prized elephant! With leeches and revolution lurking in the jungle, Chaya leads her companions on a daring escapade. 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 this ragtag gang of getaways?
About the Author
Nizrana Farook was born and raised in Colombo, Sri Lanka, and the beautiful landscapes of her home country find their way into the stories she writes. She graduated from Bath Spa University with an MA in Writing for Young People and lives in England with her husband and two daughters.
"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
"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
"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
"Filled with lush descriptions of the South Asia–inspired landscape and delicious food, debut author Farook weaves a fast-paced. . . adventure against a backdrop of political upheaval." —Publishers Weekly