What thirteen-year-old boy wants to travel on a hopeless quest to India with his grandmother? Not Ben Leeson, whose anger about his father's recent death has led him to escape into the isolated world of computer games. India is the last place Ben ever thought of visiting and his grandmother is the last person he'd ever dreamed of travelling with, but the ticket is already bought and Ben finds himself in India on a search for Gran's long lost pen pal, Shanti. In the midst of insufferable heat, strange food and the constant haggling of street beggars, Ben and Gran meet magicians and snake charmers and see bodies burning on funeral pyres. As they search for clues across the huge continent, Ben finds himself strangely compelled to follow the magnificent elephants and the elephant boy-god Ganesh. The challenges of the journey teach Ben that real life can be more exciting than any computer game and that by accepting the dark mysteries of India, he can come to terms with his father's death. This adventure quest for children ten and up takes its place among the many captivating adult books about India, and is an invaluable resource for school curriculum studies on world religions.
Beryl Young is the author of the best-selling young adult novel Wishing Star Summer (Raincoast, 2001) and Charlie: A Home Child's Life in Canada (Key Porter, 2009 - available from Ronsdale Press as of spring 2011). She is a member of the Federation of BC Writers, the Children's Writers and Illustrators of BC, the Writers' Union of Canada, and the Canadian Society of Authors, Illustrators and Performers. She has a passion for elephants and for India where she has travelled three times in an unsuccessful search for her real life pen pal. She has three children and four grandchildren and lives in Vancouver.