26 June, 2013

#BookReview :: Midnight at the Taj Mahal by Brynn Olenberg Sugarman

Hailey and Zach are out of school on a year long adventure. First stop: India!
The excitement begins the moment they step off the plane. Hailey and Zach are entrusted with the magical diary of Shah Jahan, legendary builder of the Taj Mahal, and are whisked off on their first real adventure. The Taj pool shimmers in the full moon, and suddenly the twins are not just traveling the world but traveling back in time, sent on a mission to free the shah and his princess daughter from their prison tower.
With the help of their ingenious friend, Sushil, anything seems possible. Can they help the shah win back his rightful place on the throne? Will they change India's history forever?
Time is running out! Will they succeed before their parents' work in India is done, and it's time for them to move on? 



Imagine having to miss a school year to travel around the world! Wouldn’t it be fun? 

Zach and Hailey get a chance to travel with their parents and their first stop is India! As they land in India, they find a friend in their driver’s son Sushil and soon the three are inseparable. With the diary of Shah Jahan to guide them and the pool in front of Taj Mahal enabling them to time travel, the children soon find themselves on an adventure of a lifetime. They know that they have chance to change the history and they do whatever it takes (and whatever they can) to free the famous emperor from his life of imprisonment.

Frankly, at first when I read the blurb of the book, I was like – really a magical diary and a time travelling pool? But then once I started reading the book, I was hooked. Since the book is first and foremost for young minds, the writing style of the author is simple and inviting. I also liked the way she is detail oriented. Her descriptions of places and situations were just right. The plot wasn’t that complicated but it was fun and refreshing. The characters were well developed and loveable, especially our young protagonists that I cheered for throughout. And let’s not forget the humour incorporated in the book. 

But what I loved the most was seeing my country through a foreigner’s eyes. I am one of those Indians who unabashedly stare at the foreign tourists. No, I am not so fascinated by the skin colour, but always wonder how they look at our country…  Brynn has somehow managed to quench some of that curiosity.

Overall, it was a fun read that was both entertaining and informative.



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