Saturday, June 11, 2016

Mission Mumbai by Mahtab Narsimhan

Dylan Moore is sure he’s in for the adventure of a lifetime when he’s invited to travel with his best friend's family on a summer vacation to India. Dylan’s excited to learn more about Rohit’s native county, the culture, and of course the delicious food!  Although Dylan does have another reason he's so anxious to escape New York City. A reason he’s not ready to share with Rohit, or even himself yet.

Mumbai proves to be quite an eye-opener for Dylan right from the start.  From upsetting a cow to meeting Rohit’s aunt, who he nicknamed “Boa” for reasons that soon become obvious, the family retreats to the country for what they hope will be a more peaceful vacation.  Not likely.  Dylan does however learn a very important message about family and friendship from an ancient woman. Could her simple wisdom really be the solution he’s been searching for?

This book immediately caught my eye and piqued my interest when I discovered it on the “New Middle Grade Fiction” shelf in the library.  As a sixth-grade teacher, I have had the pleasure of teaching many students either from India, or that have family living in India.  Many of these students travel to India on a regular basis.  I thought reading this book would be a chance for me to peek inside life in India.  Now that I’ve finished the book all I can say is, wow!  I feel as if I have just returned from a two week trip to India myself. Even the terrifying parts (and there are definitely parts of the book that had me on the edge of my seat wondering how anyone could possibly live through what I was reading) left me feeling excited to read more.   However,  from the culture, the food, the city , the countryside, the people, even the monsoons, I want to know more.  I think this book is a perfect example of how books can take readers to faraway places. I am excited to have my students read this book and share their opinions with me.

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