Take a Shelfie: Aru Shah and the End of Time

Fans of Percy Jackson will be happy with the Rick Riordan Presents series. Written about underrepresented cultures in literature, these books expose the reader to language, myths, and beliefs they might not know much about.

Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi started a little more slowly than typical Rick Riordan's books, but that didn't make it less interesting. Aru lives with her mother, the director of the Museum of Ancient Indian Art and Culture. Her mom is a world-famous archaeologist, and she's often gone on business trips to acquire more artifacts, causing her to miss a lot of important events in Aru's life.

So it comes as no surprise that Aru has built a kind of wall around herself, making up stories and telling lies about who she is and where she spends her time. One morning, Aru (still in her Spiderman pajamas) answers the door to find several of her classmates intent on catching her in another lie. They don't believe that the Lamp of Bharata, housed under glass in the museum, is cursed.

But it is. And despite Aru's thinking that if she just lights the lamp quickly and then blows it out, nothing bad will happen...

She frees the Sleeper whose job it is to awaken Lord Shiva, the God of Destruction. Aru is whisked into a world where she learns she has a sister-of-sorts, Mini (who's about the polar opposite of Aru - afraid of many things) and a pigeon, Boo, who will guide them on their quest.  

They have nine days. And she has no clue what to do or where to start.

Who Would Enjoy This?

I can see why this book would appeal to middle-grade students; it has lots of laughs and almost nonstop action. I felt about Aru Shah the way I did about Magnus Chase.  The humor kept me going in this genre that I, personally, don't always love. I may have been heard laughing out loud in class on at least one occasion. Maybe more. 

Aru is a wonderful protagonist and I think girls will find a common bond with her. She wonders about who to be friends with at school, she wants to do the right thing but her mouth gets her into trouble; she wonders why she's paired up with Mini and Boo on this quest, and then begins to appreciate both of them in ways she never expected.  

The Rick Riordan Presents books, so far, include Mayan, Korean, Cuban, African, and Navajo myths and culture. It looks like each of these will be a series, apart from anything he has written.  
Good for him for giving these new authors a boost!

All the books are linked below if you're interested. (I am an Amazon affiliate, so please know that I earn a few pennies from Amazon - at no extra cost to you - if you buy the book through the links. I do this because I love books and this makes it easier for you to find them.)

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