Friday, January 27, 2017

The Land of Forgotten Girls by Erin Entrada Kelly

Cover image for The land of forgotten girlsSol and Ming's mother died when Ming was just a baby.  Even though they were originally born in the Philippines, they now live with a verbally abusive stepmother in Louisiana, USA.  To cope, Sol makes up wildly imaginative stories for her sister about a mystical aunt who travels the world and has grand adventures.  Ming gets so caught up in the stories that she begins to believe the aunt will come and rescue them from their wicked stepmother. Sol is afraid of what will happen when the aunt doesn't show up, but eventually help comes from an unexpected source.  Sol and Ming's situation is tough, but natural resilience and sisterly love help them move forward. Like Beans in  Full of Beans, Sol starts out pretty unconcerned with morality, but develops a moral sense as she begins to see herself as a role-model for her sister.  I was glad the author didn't create a miraculous salvation for the girls at the end. The reader gets a sense that their life will be a bit better and that someone is looking out for them, but there are no easy solutions for their situation. The ending felt realistic and authentic to me, more so than the ending of Connect the Stars. Overall it is another good choice for those rare children who actually like social issue books.(299 p.)

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