This is the story of Aru Shah, a clever but occasionally awkward Atlanta middle schooler, who accidentally summons a demon on a dare. Aru soon finds herself thrust into the stories of the Mahabharata that she grew up hearing from her mother and is sent on the most heroic of quests -- traveling through the Kingdom of Death, meeting Hindu gods & goddess, outsmarting demons, and trying to solve the mystery of her upbringing, all while contending with a pesky pigeon sidekick and wearing her Spiderman pajamas. Also, it's laugh-out-loud FUNNY.
“Roshani Chokshi's foray into middle grade books is a fast-paced, thrilling quest bringing together Hindu gods with a character I loved deeply. Aru Shah is the perfectly imperfect heroine every middle grader needs. She's not rich, she's messy, she makes up stories to make her life seem better. But not even she can imagine that lighting the lamp her mother forbade her to touch would send her on the adventure of a lifetime. This is the perfect companion for lovers of Rick Riordan. In the first 100 pages alone, I laughed out loud multiple times. This book is a winner for all ages.”
— Shauna Sinyard, Park Road Books, Charlotte, NC
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?
About the Author
Roshani Chokshi (www.roshanichokshi.com) is the author of the instant New York Times bestselling novel, The Star-Touched Queen, and its companion, A Crown of Wishes. She studied fairy tales in college, and she has a pet luck dragon that looks suspiciously like a Great Pyrenees dog. Aru Shah and the End of Time, her middle grade debut, was inspired by the stories her grandmother told her as well as Roshani's all-consuming love for Sailor Moon. She lives in Georgia and says "y'all," but she doesn't really have a Southern accent. Her Twitter handle is @roshani_chokshi.
*"Using Hindu mythology as the foundation, Chokshi has created an exciting adventure around a coming-of-age tale. Just as "Percy Jackson" led tweens to a deeper exploration and appreciation of classic Greek mythology, Chokshi's tale will likely inspire a similar demand for traditional Indian mythology. An enthralling start to a series that Riordan fans and anyone in the mood for a high-octane adventure will love."—School Library Journal
* "This series kick-off . . . 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. Aru commands the spotlight . . . and Chokshi weaves an engrossing adventure that will leave readers anticipating the next installment."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
* "In her middle-grade debut, Chokshi spins a fantastical narrative that seamlessly intertwines Hindu cosmology and folklore, feminism, and witty dialogue for an uproarious novel for young readers. Chokshi comes into her own in this novel, reminding readers of the power of language and of stories."—Kirkus (starred review)