Senzai, N.H. Ticket to India, 288 pgs. Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books, 2015. $16.99. Language: PG (1 swear); Mature Content: PG; Violence: PG
Maya and her family have traveled to Pakistan for the funeral of her grandfather. This visit quickly changes from a family gathering to honor her grandfather to Maya, her sister, and grandmother sneaking away to India to retrieve long lost treasure. Twelve-year-old Maya always believed that her family was from Pakistan, but she is finally learning the truth of her grandmother’s past in India. What was supposed to be a brief trip to retrieve a hidden treasure from her grandmother’s childhood home changes dramatically and dangerously as Maya finds herself separated from her family and makes the decision to seek out the treasure on her own.
It is evident throughout this book what the author is trying to accomplish. Educating young children as to the history of Pakistan and India’s partition is a noble one, but is an overall failure. The insertion of historical fact is clumsy and awkward and the main plot is implausible. The main characters are charming and the reader will want only the best for them, but the plot devices used to move the story forward and lend a constant feel of peril are tedious. Young readers may find themselves with an increased interest in the history of the region and will learn about the formation of Pakistan and the affect it had on the Muslim population, which does give some merit to the effort.
EL, MS—OPTIONAL AEB