Nush and the Stolen Emerald

Publisher: Chicken House

Nush and her twin brother love racing horses and eating kulchas in their Maharajah father’s kingdom in India, in the mid-nineteenth century. But the British East India Company is encroaching on their kingdom and stole a priceless emerald – a family heirloom.

When Nush’s father announces a diplomatic trip to England, to ask Queen Victoria to intercede with the East India Company, Nush dresses as her brother to get aboard. After all, why shouldn’t she represent her royal family, even though she’s a girl? And she has a secret plan – to find and take back the family emerald.

But England’s royal palaces hold other secrets and surprises, and Nush will need all her ingenuity and courage to stand up for her family and her kingdom.

Jasbinder Bilan’s first historical novel is a jewel of a book. Nush is a brave, intelligent heroine and the gripping story includes adventures on horses, in tunnels, and on boats. Victorian England and India are brought to life vividly, and the East India Company’s role in Indian history is depicted in a way that is neither heavy-handed nor polemic.

This story could provoke discussions about colonialism, history, or simply just right and wrong. Recommended for upper primary and lower secondary readers.

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