Children’s Book Reviews

Children's Book Reviews: Mission Mumbai

Publish May 20, 2016

Mission Mumbai: A novel of sacred cows, snakes, and stolen toilets is an engaging, funny novel by the award-winning author of the Tara trilogy, Mahtab Narsimhan. It transports the reader directly into the tumultuous, dazzling streets of Mumbai. Dylan Moore and Rohit Lal are best friends in New York, but this summer they’re on a cultural collision course: a shared vacation in Mumbai with Rohit’s family. Dylan loves everything Indian – especially the food – while Rohit prefers everything American. Both boys are struggling with family problems: Dylan’s rich American parents are on the brink of divorce, while Rohit’s interfering aunt wants to take him away from his parents in New York and keep him in India. As they experience the vivid street life, extreme heat, and cultural challenges in Mumbai, the friendship between the two boys begins to unravel. A series of misadventures lead them into danger, and their loyalties are severely tested. Dylan’s knee-jerk reactions to Indian culture provide much of the humour: his first encounters with sacred cows, Indian-style toilets and blood-red betel juice are hilarious. Narsimhan’s delightful portrayal of the chaotic, sensory overload of her hometown, includes mouth-watering descriptions of Indian food and a comic description of a disaster-plagued wedding. At the same time, she presents a sensitive account of the ups and downs of the friendship between the two boys, who have trouble communicating what’s really bothering them and end up squabbling and hurting each other’s feelings. Dylan and Rohit are on a voyage of discovery that explores their emotional lives as well as the spellbinding streets of Mumbai, making this a very entertaining and rewarding book to read.

Mission Mumbai: A novel of sacred cows, snakes, and stolen toilets

Mahtab Narsimhan
Scholastic Canada Inc.
ISBN 13: 978-0-545-74651-9