The Girl Who Stole an Elephant by Nizrana Farook is a middle grade adventure novel based on historical Sri Lanka. From page one, this story is action-packed. I was absolutely gripped by this book.

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The summary, from Amazon:

Own Voices author Nizrana Farook makes her middle grade debut in a daring tale of friendship, risk, and reward, all set against the lush backdrop of Sri Lanka.

“A rich and joyful adventure story for those who enjoy daring escapades in a fairy-tale setting.” ―School Library Journal

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 her 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 thrilling adventure. 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 a page-turning middle grade tale in a lush, fictional Sri Lankan setting. Just right for adventure fans, the book explores themes of friendship and loyalty, risk and reward, and heroism.

Buy The Girl Who Stole an Elephant here.

Chaya is such a memorable main character. She is skilled at thieving, a task she takes on to provide for the people in her community when they need it most. When a friend is injured, Chaya steals the queen’s jewels. In a comedy of errors, Chaya hides the jewels in a box sold by the man her friend Neel is employed by. But then a rich girl, Nour, buys the box. Neel is ultimately blamed for the crime, and the three unlikely friends have to break him out of prison, escape town, and find a way to be accepted again – and to make sure that the cruel king no longer treats their people so poorly. Oh, yes, and they do it all with the aid of the king’s elephant, Ananda.
I adored Chaya with her stubborn, skeptical nature. Neel and Nour are great foils for her. This book also really called to me because I live in a community known as the Little Sri Lanka of NYC. I enjoyed seeing the representation and I know kids in my neighborhood would enjoy this action-packed adventure. With a rich description of setting and memorable main characters, The Girl Who Stole an Elephant is a 5 star read for me.

Find out more about how I rate books here.

The Girl Who Stole an ElephantThe Girl Who Stole an Elephant by Nizrana Farook
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this one! Action packed. Chaya is so memorable and Nour and Neel are great foils for her. Rich description of setting.

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Book Club Questions

  1. Is it ever okay to steal?
  2. How are the three main characters similar to one another? Different?
  3. Who was your favorite character? Why?

Interested? Buy The Girl Who Stole an Elephant.
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hi elephant