by Mahtab Narsimhan
ISBN 9781770860391 | eISBN 9781770860407 | 5.5" x 8" | TPB | $12.95 | Age: 9-12 | 288 pp
Purchase:Local Bookstores | mcnallyrobinson.com | archambault.ca | amazon.ca | chapters.indigo.ca
Purchase ebook:kobo | Kindle
SynopsisFinalist for the 2013 SYRCA Snow Willow Award
Finalist for the 2013 Red Maple Fiction Award
Finalist for the 2012 CLA Book of the Year for Children Award
Shortlisted for the 2013 Manitoba Young Readers Choice Award
A Resource Links Year’s Best book for 2011
A Quill & Quire Book of the Year for 2011 (Books for Young People)
The dabbawallas of Mumbai deliver box lunches — called tiffins — to whitecollar workers all over the vast city. They are legendary for their near-perfect service: for every six million lunches sent, only one will fail to reach its intended destination. The Tiffin is about that one time in millions when a box goes astray, changing lives forever.
When a note placed in a tiffin is lost, a newborn—Kunal—is separated from his mother. Twelve years later, Kunal lives as a virtual slave under the thumb of his foster father, Seth. With danger and oppression making it impossible to stay where he is, Kunal asks his friend Vinayak, an aging dabbawalla, to help him find his birth mother. Vinayak introduces Kunal to the tiffin carriers, and a plan is hatched. Along the way, Kunal learns what it means to be part of a family.
"[The Tiffin] is a great book about social consciousness ... because it can show you that just because someone lives halfway around the world doesn't mean they're not dealing with the same issues you're dealing with."
- National Post
"Melding the fantastically factual with fiction, Narsimhan sheds light on a relatively unknown part of Mumbai life while simultaneously creating a compelling quest that reads like a classic folk tale. Forgive the groan-inducing wordplay, but a novel this original is one in six million."
- Quill and Quire starred review
"Narsimhan recounts a marvellous, well-told story about what it means to belong ... When all is lost (or even just one tiffin!), Narsimhan demonstrates how hope can survive! ... Recommended."
- CM Magazine
"I really enjoyed travelling to Mumbai in this story, and experiencing the sights, smells, and sounds of this populous city ... this is a unique survival story that will captivate junior and intermediate students."
- Maria Martella, Tinlids