Best-selling author Rick Riordan introduces this adventure by Roshani Chokshi about twelve-year-old Aru Shah, who has a tendency to stretch the truth in order to fit in at school. While her classmates are jetting off to family vacations in exotic locales, she'll be spending her autumn break at home, in the Museum of Ancient Indian Art and Culture, waiting for her mom to return from her latest archeological trip. Is it any wonder that Aru makes up stories about being royalty, traveling to Paris, and having a chauffeur? One day, three schoolmates show up at Aru's doorstep to catch her in a lie. They don't believe her claim that the museum's Lamp of Bharata is cursed, and they dare Aru to prove it. Just a quick light, Aru thinks. Then she can get herself out of this mess and never ever fib again. But lighting the lamp has dire consequences. She unwittingly frees the Sleeper, an ancient demon whose duty it is to awaken the God of Destruction. Her classmates and beloved mother are frozen in time, and it's up to Aru to save them. The only way to stop the demon is to find the reincarnations of the five legendary Pandava brothers, protagonists of the Hindu epic poem, the Mahabharata , and journey through the Kingdom of Death. But how is one girl in Spider-Man pajamas supposed to do all that ?
"Aru Shah is a lover of tales, and was hoping to survive seventh grade through spinning slightly altered tales about her life to classmates. When a group of friends confronts her at the Museum of Ancient Art and Indian Cultures about her lies, Aru Shah would do anything to get them to believe her. Even if that means taking their dare to light a lamp that wouldn't you know it? might bring about the end of the world. Readers will be delighted by this adventurous dive into Hindu mythology and the chance to cheer along a heroic young protagonist. Chokshi makes it easy to connect with Aru by showing her learn from her mistakes (with the help of a sarcastic sorcerer pigeon), and readers will experience wonder as they are met with such surprises as a forest of giant fireflies. This series starter also doesn't skimp on important lessons about friendship, family, and love. Chokshi is a talented writer who breathes fresh air into her mythological world.--Bratt, Jessica Anne Copyright 2018 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review:
"This series kickoff, which is also the first book from the Rick Riordan Presents imprint, expertly channels the humor and action that have made Riordan's own work so successful. Twelve-year-old Aru Shah lives with her mother in the Museum of Ancient Indian Art and Culture in Atlanta. Aru's tendency to bend the truth gets her into trouble when three of her classmates dare her to light a supposedly cursed lamp called a diya, which awakens the demonic Sleeper. With the help of her guardian, a pigeon named Subala, Aru learns that she is the reincarnation of one of five Pandava brothers, each the child of a different god. Aru meets one of her "soul-related" siblings, smart but timid Mini, and they head off to stop the Sleeper from reaching Shiva, Lord of Destruction. With her quick wit and big personality, Aru commands the spotlight ("I'm an A student," she boasts to a doubtful Subala. "In the sense that she was a student whose name started with an A"), and Chokshi (The Star-Touched Queen) weaves an engrossing adventure that will leave readers anticipating the next installment. Ages 8-12. Agent: Thao Le, Sandra Dijkstra & Associates. (Mar.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
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