Book House

“Misfit Madhu”: Divya Anand’s book is about a middle-grade developer who creates her dream app

Author Divya Anand
  • The book “Misfit Madhu” by Divya Anand is about Madhu, a shy middle-grade developer who spends her holidays creating her dream app, ‘School Santhe’.

  • Soon, the app goes viral, because an app where everyone at school can trade stuff is the app they’ve all been waiting for! Madhu now sets her sights on winning the GoTek young developers contest. But when School Santhe is used to sell leaked test papers, she’s faced with the hardest decision of her life.

  • As her dreams begin to crumble – with the entire school now blaming her for the mess her app has caused – Madhu realizes that sometimes, it’s far easier to debug an app than it is to debug your life!

  • Read an excerpt from the book below.




A week later, School Santhe was still going strong. The sounds of the app had become a steady background hum. The driver was now very annoyed. He had tried asking us to put our phones on silent. But that didn’t work. So now he showed his anger by driving as though he were steering a roller coaster. We flew over speed bumps and thumped into potholes. I think his aim was to make us drop our phones and break them!

‘You’re famous,’ Mira said, winking at me conspiratorially.

I smiled shyly. I certainly didn’t feel famous. Even though I’d been mobbed by people asking me how to win auctions, how to get the best bids and other such questions almost every day.

‘Seriously,’ she said. ‘Show me one person on this bus who isn’t using School Santhe right now!’

‘Stop bidding on that bat,’ Lohith’s voice rang out.

‘Just try and stop me,’ Ethan shot back. ‘Why do you want it anyway? You don’t even play cricket!’

‘A bat with Pujara’s signature! The trader is a fool. Even a non-cricketer knows that!’

Lohith lunged to grab Ethan’s phone in a misguided attempt to stop him. That was the exact moment that the frustrated driver decided to jam on the brakes. The phone went flying.

‘Ow!’ Mira yelled. The phone had hit her squarely on the back of her head.

‘My phone!’ Ethan yelled.

‘This is . . .’ I was at a complete loss of words.


‘It’s been like this since I got on the van,’ Mira whispered, showing me her screen. ‘Oh! Check it! My brand new pencil bo-ox!’ It was a pretty pale lavender and had individual compartments for erasers, pens and pencils. It even had a sharpener built into the side.

I was jealous. ‘Who traded this with you?’

Mira smiled and tapped on the shoulder of a girl sitting in front of us.

‘Meet Kyra,’ she said. ‘She’s in VI C and she’s new. She swapped her awesome pencil box for my hand-painted sneakers.’

Wow! I wish I had something like that to swap!

‘I love your app,’ Kyra said shyly. ‘Are you part of a coding club?’

‘Our school doesn’t have one,’ I said glumly.

‘We just have regular computer classes . . .’

Her face suddenly brightened up. ‘Oh, can we start one? I’m sure others will be interested, especially now. I mean, School Santhe is so much fun! You’re a star!’

This kid thinks I’m a coding star. If only she knew that I’m the first ranker of introverts.

Don’t get me wrong. I, like, loved, how popular School Santhe is! Like all developers whose app make it big, I was thrilled. But a part of me was waiting for all this excitement to die down so I could crawl back into my hole.

Excerpted with permission from Misfit Madhu, Divya Anand, Puffin Books. Read more about the book here and buy it here.


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