Ticket to India

A trip to India turns into a grand adventure in this contemporary novel about the Great Partition, from the award-winning author of Saving Kabul Corner and Shooting Kabul.

A map, two train tickets, and a mission. These are things twelve-year-old Maya and her big sister Zara have when they set off on their own from Delhi to their grandmother’s childhood home of Aminpur, a small town in Northern India. Their goal is to find a chest of family treasures that their grandmother’s family left behind when they fled from India to Pakistan during the Great Partition. But soon the sisters become separated, and Maya is alone. Determined to find her grandmother’s lost chest, she continues her trip, on the way enlisting help from an orphan boy named Jai.

Maya’s grand adventure through India is as thrilling as it is warm: a journey through her family’s history becomes a real coming-of-age quest

Awards & Recognition

  • Missouri Association of School Librarians Readers Award Nominee
  • YALSA 2017 Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults


“After the sudden death of her nanabba (grandfather), sixth-grader Maya travels from America to her grandparents’ house in Karachi, Pakistan, with her mother and older sister, Zara. Before Maya’s naniamma (grandmother) will leave with them, she is determined to retrieve her family’s hidden valuables from her childhood home in India. Zara and Maya sneak away with Naniamma to India, and although they begin their important “treasure hunt” together, Maya winds up trying to complete it herself. In a trip fraught with mistakes, timid Maya learns how to be brave, inspiring readers to root for this resolute heroine to succeed. Senzai’s (Saving Kabul Corner) beautifully detailed prose paints a vivid portrait of Maya’s surroundings and the people she meets as she travels across India. Aided by Maya’s journal entries, Senzai skillfully incorporates an enlightening lesson about the complex and connected history, cultures, and current state of affairs in India and Pakistan into Maya’s journey of discovery.”

- Publishers Weekly

“Sixth-grader Maya has already traveled from California to Karachi, Pakistan, nine times to visit her grandparents, but this trip will be different: her nanabba (grandfather) has passed away. After the funeral, her grandmother will be returning to California with them, but first Naniamma intends to go to India and retrieve valuables hidden by her family when they fled to Pakistan during Partition. Maya and her sister, Zara, persuade Naniamma to let them join her, but their trip is complicated when Naniamma requires hospitalization, and Maya is later kidnapped by men that run a criminal gang of orphans. What starts as a realistic exploration of grief and family history turns into an exciting action adventure. . . . Senzai’s novel is packed with fascinating information about the complex history and culture of India and Pakistan. . . . Brings attention to an underrepresented culture in an appealing way.”

- Booklist

“Senzai’s story has myriad twists and turns, teaching the reader Indian and Pakistani history en route and exposing the devastating dilemma of the street children who are forced to commit crimes to survive. It’s high adventure and an exposure to a world mostly unfamiliar to many young readers.”

- San Jose Mercury

“A very good book that is well worth reading.”

- Teen Reads

“One-part travel tale and one-part historical reflection, Ticket to India is a fantastic new find for anyone looking to incorporate diverse books into their reading.”

- Reading Nook Reviews

“People with a taste for adventure will love the suspenseful and unpredictable plot of this book. It’s a truly inspiring read about courage and family values.”

- Time For Kids