There’s nothing quite like reading about holiday adventures when on summer vacations. Here’s our list of five {and a few more} books that celebrate travel, escapades, and mayhem.

3 Novels: A Summer Adventure, The Hidden Treasure, The Only Witness

3novels-in

In A Summer Adventure, a sulky Ravi comes from Bombay to spend his summer holidays with his cousins Polly, Minu, Dinu. He soon cheers up when he finds out that small town life is not that dull. Especially when they have to set out to solve a string of burglaries. Shashi Deshpande’s story is a hark back to the British books we read. The children go up to a tower to see its clock being wound, suspicious lights and noises in a big house, and eat long breakfast picnics under the shade of a mango tree.

Bonus Read: 4 Heroes and a Green Beard in Bengali by Narayan Gangopadhyay, translated by Swati Bhattacharji, a late 19th century detective novel about four friends who head to Darjeeling for a holiday but stumble upon a mystery instead.

Author: Shashi Despande

Publisher: Puffin

Price: INR 274

Buy the book online here.

Jungu the Baiga Princess

junguthebaigaprincess

It’s Easter break, and Sunil is sent off to stay with his Uncle Vish in the jungles of Madhya Pradesh. His teacher thinks he will have fun, he will go to “wonderful forests” with animals “and tribes who have been there as long, as long as history.” Sunil meets Jungu, a adivasi girl who lives in the forest. There are lots of threats looming – rehabilitation of the tribe and poachers. A story about livelihood security, the urban-rural divide and the wonders of the natural world and the dangers it faces.

Bonus Read: Also check out Ambushed by Nayanika Mahtani and Ranthambore Adventure by Deepak Dalal. Both are set in the Ranthambore Tiger Reserve, where children decide to protect their forests.

Author: Vithal Rajan

Publisher: Young Zubaan

Price: INR 250

Buy the book online here.

Let’s Go Time Travelling! Life in India Through the Ages

letsgotimetravelling-in

This one’s not really a vacation story, but hey, if people can take staycations, then time travelling also counts. Stories unfurl across different ages – Early India – the Harappan Civilization and the Indo-Aryans, Ancient India – the Mauryas and Guptas and the Pallavas and Cholas, Medieval India – the Delhi Sultanate and the Mughals, and British India – the people and rulers. The book is really the story of people – what they ate, how did they put on make-up, what games they played, and how did they travel. 

Bonus read:  Andaleeb Wajid’s Tamanna Trilogya young adult book about romance and time travel.

AuthorSubhadra Sen Gupta

Publisher: Puffin

Price: INR 199

Buy the book online here.

Rusty and the Magic Mountain

rustyandthemagicmountain-in

What happens when Rusty comes back from a long hiatus? He sets off to listen to the call of the “adventure wind” of course. And since he really can’t explore the mysterious Witch Mountain all by himself, he recruits the help of his friend Popat Lal and a wrestler called Pitamber. There’s plenty of weird stuff and people to be encountered – from one-eyed caretakers to blood-thirsty cats and beautiful damsels and malicious queens. 

Bonus Read: Swami and Friends by R.K. Laxman and take a trip to the fictional town of Malgudi.

Author: Ruskin Bond

Publisher: Puffin

Price: INR 299

Bu the book online here.

Survival Tips for Lunatics 

survivaltipsforlunatics-in

Changez and his brother Taimur (better known as Timmy) have gone camping with their parents to Chandrakup, one of the largest volcanoes in South Asia. The next morning, they wake up to find that their parents have packed up and left them behind by mistake. The 12-year-old Changez is left in charge of his “witless” nine-year-old brother and finds that he has larger problems to worry about. Such as a talking sparrow and velociraptors, border forces, and terrorist groups. Sayan Mukherjee’s illustrations add a light touch to this fabulously fun story from Pakistan.

Bonus read: The Secret of Falcon Heights by Ranjit LalThree siblings are stuck for three months in the remote Pahadpur hill station. They discover that their neighbours are treated like social pariahs. A story of sexual violence, social stigma, and discrimination.  

Author: Shandana Minhas

Publisher: Hatchett

Price: INR 275

Buy the book online here.