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Mahtab Narsimhan

Mahtab Narsimhan was born in Mumbai (Bombay) India. She lived in the Middle East for more than a year prior to immigrating to Canada in 1997. Narsimhan lives in Toronto, Ontario.

Fiction (Juvenile)

The Deadly Conch

Toronto: Dundurn Press, 2011.
Tara Trilogy, Book III.

Publisher’s Synopsis (from its website)

After the conclusion of The Silver Anklet, Taras triumphant return to Morni is short-lived. Taras deceased former stepmother, Kali, seeks revenge through her daughter, Layla. And so begins a series of carefully orchestrated events to cast suspicion on Tara: a dead dog in the village temple, contaminated well water, and whispers that Tara is still possessed.
Layla fuels the villagers blind superstitions and fears. Soon all of Morni is against Tara, even her own family. Death seems to be the only way to stop her evil stepsister.
Tara turns to Lord Yama and his deadly conch for help. He takes her to the Underworld to seek advice, but when she returns, she has only 24 hours to prove her innocence and to save the village before she must go back to the World of the Dead. Forever.

Fiction (Juvenile)

Embrace the Chicken

Victoria, BC: Orca, 2019.
Orca Currents series.

Publisher’s Synopsis (from its website)

Even though she only left Mumbai a few months ago, Shivani isn’t feeling like such an outsider anymore. She likes her new school. She finally has a best friend. But when her mother volunteers for the school’s annual fundraiser, Shivani is sure she will completely embarrass her. Especially if she cooks one of the “stinky” dishes that Shivani loves but is too ashamed to eat in front of her friends.

On the day of the fair, the moment Shivani walks into the gym she knows her worst fears have come true: the unmistakable scent of Indian spices is in the air. But then she sees that dozens of people are lined up at her mom’s stall. It’s the most popular one!

Looking for Lord Ganesh book cover

Fiction (Juvenile, Picture book)

Looking for Lord Ganesh

Illustrated by Sonja Wimmer.
London: Lantana Publishing, 2016.

Publisher’s Synopsis (from its website)

Anika has recently emigrated from India and is having a difficult time adjusting to life in a new country, not to mention life in a new school. Remembering the advice her grandmother gave her, she prays to Lord Ganesh, the Hindu elephant god. But Lord Ganesh is slow to respond and Anika takes to the internet to attract his attention. When her problems begin to resolve themselves, she can breathe a sigh of relief. But has Lord Ganesh truly been helping her, or has she been relying on her own inner wisdom all along? This is a sweet and witty story about staying true to one’s beliefs and finding strength in unlikely places.

Mission Mumbai book cover

Fiction (Juvenile/Young adult)

Mission Mumbai

Markham, ON: Scholastic Press, 2016.

My Best Friend NOT book cover

Fiction (Juvenile/Elementary)

My Best Friend … NOT!

Don Mills, ON: Pearson Canada, 2015.
Well Aware series. (Grade 5 level)


One of a series of short novels raising awareness of mental health issues and designed to foster classroom discussion.

Fiction (Juvenile)

The Silver Anklet

Toronto: Dundurn Press, 2009.
Tara Trilogy, Book II.

Publisher’s Synopsis (from its website)

What if the only way to get rid of your worst enemy was to sacrifice your brother?
When hyenas snatch Taras brother, Suraj, and two other children from the local fair in Morni, Tara and her newfound companions decide to rescue them on their own. Tara soon discovers that Zarku, her nemesis with the third eye, is back and intent on revenge.
A deadly game of hide and seek ensues, and Tara and her companions must work together to survive. But it is soon clear that Zarku is only after Tara; the others are dispensable.
Should Tara risk the lives of her friends? Or can she once again defeat Zarku and save her brother, armed only with belief in herself and a silver anklet?

Fiction (Juvenile)

The Third Eye

Toronto: Dundurn Press, 2007.
Tara Trilogy, Book I.

Publisher’s Synopsis (from its website)

For Tara and her brother, Suraj, the year their mother and grandfather fled the village of Morni in the middle of the night has been a nightmare. Their new stepmother is cruel and deceptive, and the village itself is lacking a healer. What’s more, men of the village have been disappearing, often returning in a strange, altered form.
When a new healer, Zarku, a mysterious man with a third eye possessing strange power, suddenly appears in Morni, all are mesmorized by his magic — all except Tara, who sees through his evil disguise.

Awards and Honours

2009 Silver Birch Fiction Award (Forest of Reading, Ontario Library Association) (Winner)

Fiction (Juvenile/Young adult)

The Tiffin

Toronto: Dancing Cat Books, 2011.
9th floor PS8627 .A77 T54 2011

Publisher’s Synopsis

Bombay is home to the dabbawallas, a group of deliverymen who bring boxed lunches – called tiffins – to workers all over the city. For every six million lunches that are sent, a tiffin goes missing only once.
This is a story about one of those times.

Awards and Honours

2012 CLA Book of the Year for Children Award (Canadian Library Association) (Finalist)
2013 Red Maple Award (Forest of Reading, Ontario Library Association) (Finalist)
2013 Snow Willow Award (Saskatchewan Young Readers’ Choice) (Finalist)

Anthology (Short stories)

Her Mother’s Ashes 3: Stories by South Asian Women in Canada and the United States

PS8329.1 .H45 2009

Narsimhan, Mahtab. “Love, Long Distance.” In Her Mosher’s Ashes 3, edited by Nurjehan Aziz. Toronto: TSAR, 2009, [146]-156.

Anthology (Memoir, Juvenile)

Narsimhan, Mahtab. “What’s in a Name.” In Piece by Piece: Stories About Fitting Into Canada, edited by Teresa Toten. Toronto: Puffin Canada, 2010, 93-103.


Mahtab Narsimhan’s personal website

Pearson Canada Well Aware Authors page

Publisher Dancing Cat Books

Publisher Dundurn Press ; Teacher’s guides to volumes in the Tara trilogy can be downloaded as pdfs

Publisher Lantana Publishing

Publisher Orca Book Publishers

Publisher Thomas Allen & Son