The novel Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi is a story about a young girl named Aru Shah’s adventure through Indian mythology. Aru is a somewhat mischievous girl. All of Aru’s classmates from her private school go vacationing at exotic locations, while Aru is stuck at the museum in her Spiderman pajamas. As a result, Aru also has a bad habit of lying.
The story begins at the Museum of Ancient Art and Culture which Aru’s mom curates. One day, three of Aru’s classmates show up at the Museum’s front doorstep, not believing that the Lamp of Bharata is cursed. Aru makes the poor decision of lighting the lamp, and turns her classmates into frozen statues.
With the help of an annoying talking bird, Aru discovers who her biological father and her soul’s father is. Both are quite astonishing! The talking bird also introduces her to a girl named Mini (short for Yamini) who is just like her. With Mini’s help, Aru fights off demons, collects the items needed to reverse the spell of the cursed lamp, and even buys some Oreos from a Costco in another dimension.
What I enjoyed about reading this book were the consistent references and allusions to Hindu mythology. Similar to how the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan is based on Greek mythology, this novel and its succeeding books are adventures based on Hindu mythology. I believe that both fictional and nonfiction books can teach readers something, and this novel is a wonderful example. With both humor, adventure, and an interesting plot line, I would recommend this novel to both children and adults!
Aru Shah and The End of Time by Roshani Chokshi is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library. It can also be downloaded for free from Overdrive.