Select language, opens an overlay
Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line

Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line

A Novel

Book - 2020
Average Rating:
Rate this:
"Based on a true story--Nine-year-old Jai watches too many reality police shows, thinks he's smarter than his friend Pari (even though she gets the best grades), and considers himself to be a better boss than Faiz (even though Faiz is the one with a job). When a classmate goes missing, Jai decides to use the crime-solving skills he has picked up from TV to find him. He asks Pari and Faiz to be his assistants and together they draw up lists of people to interview and places to visit. But what begins as a game turns sinister as other children start disappearing from their neighborhood. Jai, Pari, and Faiz have to confront terrified parents, an indifferent police force, and their fears of soul-snatching djinns. As the disappearances edge ever closer to home, the lives of Jai and his friends will never be the same again. At times exuberant, at times heartbreaking, Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line traces the unfolding of a tragedy while capturing the fierce warmth and resilience of a community forged in times of trouble"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Random House, 2020.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780593129197
Call Number: MYS ANA
Characteristics: 347 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Bib Control Number: 1053638


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
May 18, 2021

The 2021 Edgar Award winner for Best Novel, “Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line” centers its story around a group of children protagonists growing up in an Indian slum and tells a compelling and disquieting story of daily survival, socioeconomic inequity, and criminality. The author writes in an often light and humorous way, befitting the tone of a 9 year-old narrator, while also jarringly hitting the reader with horrific dangers and events, and an unsettling mystery of child abductions which drives the narrative of the book. While supernatural elements are described at times, this is a purely natural tale, full of real life dangers and real world outcomes, as well as struggles that transcend the story’s setting. Due largely to the opening prologue, as well as the title itself (i.e., “Djinn Patrol…”), I did struggle a bit with the first half of the book, as I kept waiting for some twist or turn to take this tale to the preternatural, unclear as to what sort of story I was reading. By the second half I was hooked and let the story envelope me with all of its joys and trauma. This was an enjoyable and thoughtful read; one that should leave you disquieted by the dangers of our world, but more aware of the plight of others.

Apr 01, 2021

A very worthwhile book about life in an Indian slum, told from the perspective of a nine-year-old.

Jan 06, 2021

Powerful but a lot more depressing and sad than I was expecting. The "Djinn" fooled me into thinking it was a bit of an adventure story. It's not.

Dec 04, 2020

NYT best of 2020. Child protag, mystery.

JessicaGma Jul 22, 2020

Don't ask me why I thought this was a fantasy book as it's really not - it's a book about young friends living in a shanty-town in India. Jai is the main character and he's fairly unflappable but then kids start going missing in his school, so he sets out with his mates to solve the mystery. It's good and quite moving, especially when you learn it's based on a true story.

Feb 08, 2020

Perhaps it’s the reporter’s instinct for detail that makes this debut book so riveting. As a journalist, Anappara saw a lot of poor neighborhoods desperate for the return of missing and most likely exploited children. In her creation of a young child as the protagonist in this story, she has created an observer not hindered by adult knowledge, one who sees the world through new eyes. Jai lives in a slum. He goes to school unwillingly, and for good reason—gangs, uncaring teachers and large classes. He‘s Hindi. One of his best friends is Muslim. His other best friend is a girl who excels in academics. His sister is involved in track and field at their school and hopes to be able to compete on the state level. As children disappear from the neighborhood, Jai and his two friends, become detectives hoping to discover what has happened to them. Local Hindis want to blame it on the Muslims, which turns out to be false, but puts undue pressure on the small Muslim population. As a children’s librarian, I’ve always been impressed by the unexpected, wise observations of children, and this book confirms my belief. Children can be keen observers of the word around them. Although the city is unnamed in the book, if you’ve read BEHIND THE BEAUTIFUL FOREVERS you are familiar with the corrupt police forces, the conditions of slums, and the challenges of survival. This book puts a clear picture in the reader’s mind of the toll it takes on children.

debwalker Feb 07, 2020

When your friend goes missing in an Indian shanty town. Strong reviews.

Feb 06, 2020


Jan 30, 2020

I really enjoyed this book, it follows the story of 9 year old Jai's investigation to his friend's disappearance, in a shantytown in India. It's told from his point of view and right from page 1, you are immersed in his world. This book doesn't shy away from the harsh realities of living in an impoverished basti in India, which has an interesting spin when narrated by a child.


Add Age Suitability
Jan 30, 2020

b3nk0 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at IndyPL

To Top