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Lalani of the Distant Sea Hardcover – Deckle Edge, 3 September 2019
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“With lyricism and elegance, Erin Entrada Kelly weaves a rich tale. Powerful and gripping.” -- Soman Chainani, author of The School for Good and Evil series
“Unlikely but determined heroine Lalani is lovably loyal, kind-hearted, and optimistic even as she faces unspeakable dangers, and her relentless spirit makes her a worthy protagonist in this triumphant tale about fighting for the people one loves and staying true to oneself.” -- Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Newbery Medalist Kelly writes a heroic fantasy about making choices, going on a quest, and conquering evil. Scattered throughout the novel are short, beautifully illustrated second-person vignettes allowing readers to imagine they are the mythical creatures Lalani encounters . . . Fast-paced and full of wonder, this is a powerful, gripping must-read.” -- Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Inspired by Filipino folklore, Newbery Award̶winner Kelly has woven her narrative with a mythology that is rich and delicious. . . . Readers will be cheering for Lalani in her unlikely quest to save her family and friends, using only the power of her wits, courage, and empathy.” -- Booklist (starred review)
“Beautifully rendered . . . A journey illustrating the importance of story and the power of faith and hope.”
-- School Library Journal (starred review)
“Brimming with injustice, beauty, pain and wonder . . . A fluid, intentional novel grounded strongly in emotional reality and overflowing with the fantastic. Absolutely bewitching.” -- Shelf Awareness (starred review)
“Fans of Lin’s Where the Mountain Meets the Moon will be enthralled.” -- Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“Kelly turns from the contemporary realistic settings of the Newbery–winning Hello, Universe and of You Go First to a tropical island–set fantasy world. . . . An excellent job of world-building.” -- Horn Book (starred review)
From the Back Cover
Sometimes you choose yourself.
Lalani Sarita faces an impossible future. Her mother has fallen ill and is unlikely to recover. Drum and Kul—her stepfather and stepbrother—are cruel and vindictive overlords. There is only cleaning and cooking and mending and errands—for someone such as Lalani, life on Sanlagita involves little else.
Lalani Sarita faces an impossible task.She only wanted to save Toppi. She only wanted to help her best friend, Veyda. But everything is her fault. Everything. The rain—coming now in torrents and causing unspeakable disaster—is all her fault.
So Lalani does what only one girl on the island of Sanlagita has ever done before. She slips into a small scouting boat and sets out across the Veiled Sea, looking for a different future. That other girl never returned. Will Lalani?
Sometimes you choose yourself.
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- Publisher : Greenwillow Books; Illustrated edition (3 September 2019)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 400 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0062747274
- ISBN-13 : 978-0062747273
- Reading age : 8 - 12 years
- Item Weight : 646 g
- Dimensions : 13.97 x 3.45 x 20.96 cm
- Country of Origin : USA
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from other countries
I felt that the writing was good and interesting - and the book was very well-designed with some special chapters that had their own illustrations - but as I didn't have the correct expectations, it was a disappointment.
Lalani Sarita lives on the island of Sanlagita, an oppressive place ruled by a vindictive mountain. Everyone is given a job and knows their place. But, a drought threatens the villagers, and Lalani's mother is stricken with mender's disease, an often fatal illness. Hope just might lie to the north on Mount Isa, a paradise of good fortune. Lalani knows she is nothing special, that she is the least likely person to accomplish a life-changing task. However, when a rash wish causes the villagers to blame her for their hardships, Lalani must find a way to help. A perilous quest ensues in which many unusual creatures are met and much adventure occurs.
This story is difficult to effectively describe. While it is clothed as a simple fairy tale, Lalani of the Distant Sea is so much more: a story of the importance of kindness, the need for courage and a journey of self-discovery. I especially love how the ordinary characters must find the courage to take a stand. Hetsbi, one of Lalani's friends, is one of my favorite characters, and I loved the chapters that explored events from his perspective. Practical Veyda, Hetsbi's sister, is also a wonderful character. In love how she nmakes medicine and is determined to help people in her village.
The novel has many complex events, and plot threads eventually culminate in an exquisite tapestry. If you are a bit confused by the many creatures and events, please be patient. All will become plain if you continue the journey.
Lalani of the Distant Sea is a must-read and an unforgettable experience. I loved all the vivid creatures, particularly the Weeping Loset, the Whenbo and the Bai. The author's imagination is amazing, and the creatures spring to life. The world seems so real, and you will be immersed in its savage and oddly hopeful embrace. Enter a world of peril where things are never what they seem. Thoroughly recommended. God bless you all.
It was a joy to read a book filled with mythology, adventures and lessons, it would be better if there’s more illustrations :)