Monday, August 27, 2018

MISSION MUMBAI by Mahtab Narsimhan

Lots of action and interesting details about traveling and life in India!  

Description from the publisher:

When aspiring photographer Dylan Moore is invited to join his best friend, Rohit Lal, on a family trip to India, he jumps at the chance to embark on an exciting journey just like their Lord of the Rings heroes, Frodo and Sam. But each boy comes to the trip with a problem: Rohit is desperate to convince his parents not to leave him behind in Mumbai to finish school, and Dylan is desperate to stay in India to prove himself as a photographer and to avoid his parents' constant fighting. Keeping their struggles to themselves threatens to tear the boys apart. But when disaster strikes, Dylan and Rohit realize they have to set aside their differences to navigate India safely, confront their family issues, and salvage their friendship.

Mission Mumbai, written by Mahtab Narsimhan was published by Scholastic in 2016.

Why you want to read this book… 

The details of traveling in India are so interesting! I enjoyed all the descriptions of food, customs and cultural traditions woven into this story. Did I mention the food? I appreciated all the mentions of typical Indian foods and meals (you can find two of the author’s favorite recipes here). There’s never a dull moment in this novel, as the two boys explore, facing challenges that test their friendship.


I wanted a clear shot but there were too many people blocking the way. Clutching a weapon that was highly inadequate for this dangerous mission, I crept toward the beast.

If you’re a writer… 

Definitely consider reading this to study how to use authentic details to bring a setting to life. This book provides a different spin on the classic middle grade friendship issues, showing how the friendship between the two boys deteriorates when they are preoccupied with their own goals and family problems. 

We narrowly missed colliding with a cyclist transporting cages of screaming hens, a vendor with a tall stack of egg trays on the carrier behind him, and a lamppost. It was scary and thrilling all at once.

If you’re a teacher…

This is a great read for students who are interested in adventure and travel. I found it interesting the way the author depicted the boys interacting with people of all different social classes, showing that everyone had their own problems and joys. For students who have never been to India, this book provides a great snapshot of what life might be like.

The road was submerged in at least two feet of water. Plastic bags, bottles, banana peels, and other unidentifiable debris floated on the floodwater’s pockmarked surface. Everything was soggy and limp in the relentless downpour.

Check out this interesting interview with author Mahtab Narsimhan and go here for some discussion questions and activities.

More middle grade book reviews are waiting for you for Marvelous Middle Grade at Greg Pattridge's blog.


  1. I still have this one on my to read list. Your thoughts, especially the teacher and writer connections, have me tracking this one down today. Thanks for the review. (Sorry... I only had time this morning to put the title at the end of the MMGM post)

  2. I will try to get to this one. Thanks for telling me about it. I hadn't heard of it.


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