Lalani of the Distant Sea

Lalani of the Distant Sea

Book - 2020 | First paperback edition
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"Twelve-year-old Lalani Sarita takes on the impossible task of traveling to the legendary Mount Isa, towering on an island to the north. Generations of men and boys have died on the same quest--how can a timid young girl in a tiny boat survive the epic tests of the archipelago?"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York, NY :, Greenwillow Books, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers,, 2020
Edition: First paperback edition
ISBN: 9780062747280
Branch Call Number: FANTASY J KEL
Characteristics: 384 pages : illustrations, map ; 20 cm
Additional Contributors: Cho, Lian - Illustrator


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JCLS_Ashland_Kristin Jun 15, 2020

Kelly's lyrical prose style is well-suited to retelling folktales from the Philippines. Adults will read this as an allegory, children will enjoy the Moana-like adventure.

Jan 07, 2020

A book with beautiful potential that seemed to be too long when I was reading it, but too short to tie up all the loose ends when it was over. It reminded me very much of Moana -- but a version where she waits to set sail when the movie is half over. Lalani had some beautiful imagery and themes, but it was also darker and bloodier than I expected and full of cryptic passages about strangely named creatures. It would have been great to have more illustrations of the shek, the wallecta, the pahaalusk. . . And what was with that story about Anya? The ending is epic and that is what saved this book from getting a two-star rating. It just was too disjointed and cryptic for me to love it. Sorry, Lalani!

Dec 30, 2019

A very enjoyable read with a strong female heroine. Loved this little window into Filipino folklore. Reminded me of a combination of Island of the Blue Dolphins and Rick Riordan's books.

Hillsboro_RobP Oct 29, 2019

Loosely based on Filipino folklore, Lalani is a grim and wondrous story of a hard life on a distant island. I found it read like a mix of Moana and Pan's Labyrinth, so it's not a story for the faint of heart. But for a kid or an adult who likes their fantastical tales a bit on the dark side, this is a perfect match. My favorite J-fiction I've read this year.
It's not perfect, I'd love a tweak to the ending, but I'm not about to forget any of Lalani's story.

DCLkids Oct 15, 2019

A Great Books for Great Kids pick. From Newbery-winning author Erin Entrada Kelly comes the gripping story of Lalani, who leaves home in search of a cure for her mother and her island. She meets fantastic creatures and suffers through many trials on her way, and finds strength to be true to herself. Grades 5-8.

ArapahoeMary Aug 19, 2019

Absolutely beautiful - the world-building, the mythology, the strength and beauty of the characters. I loved Lalani and her courage and determination, even when facing the terrible consequences of her best-intentioned actions. You will too.

LPL_MaryW Aug 08, 2019

Erin Entrada Kelly’s latest middle grade novel, inspired by Filipino folklore, is about a girl named Lalani who lives on the island of Sanlagita. The islanders live simply, but they must say daily benedictions to Kahna, Sanlagita’s formidable ruling mountain. Every so often, on Sailing Day, the island’s best set off to Isa—a mountain on a neighboring island said to be covered in yellow flowers that can heal any illness—but none (including Lalani’s father) have ever survived the journey. When Lalani accidentally brings Kahna’s wrath upon her island, she becomes determined to go to Isa and right her wrongs. This lush fantasy epic blew me away!

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