Kim is one of Rudyard Kipling's best-known novels.
Kim grows up an orphan in the city of Lahore, then part of British-ruled India. He is so tanned and fits in so well, few realize he is in fact Irish.
One day, Kim befriends a lama from far-off Tibet, and is soon accompanying him across India in the holy man's search for the "River of the Arrow", whose waters will cleanse him of his worldly sins. On their journey, Kim investigates a British Army encampment and is caught. When the Army priest discovers that Kim's father belonged to his own regiment, it is decided that he must go to school. The lama arranges to pay his tuition at the best school, in Lucknow. During the school holidays, however, Kim doffs his European clothing and finds his lama.
Occasionally, Kim runs into his old friend Mahbub Ali, a horse trader (and spy in the employ of the British), and runs some unusual errands for him. Mahbub Ali arranges for him to get very special training, grooming him to become a spy himself so he can one day take a part in the Great Game played by nations.
One day, while Kim is with his lama, they encounter Hurree Babu, another agent for the British. Hurree Babu has managed to attach himself to two Russian spies to find out what they are up to. With Kim's help, he obtains the Russians' documents without arousing their suspicions (they think they have been set upon and driven away by angry natives for daring to strike the lama). On their way back, the lama finds his River of the Arrow.
Best part of story, including ending:
It's a classic coming-of-age story, full of adventure.
Best scene in story:
Any of the many scenes where Kim and the lama travel the roads of India brings to vivid life a bygone world.
Opinion about the main character:
Kim is by turns clever and charming, but most of all, his love for his lama is enduring.