Now 2019 Previous Articles Road Essays Road Reviews Author Title Source Age Genre Series Format Inclusivity LGBTA Portfolio Artwork WIP

Recent posts


Month in review

Reviews
Archimancy by J.A. White
The Bone Garden by Heather Kassner
The Boney Hand by Karen Kane
Cat Got Your Cash by Julie Chase
CatStronauts: Slapdash Science by Drew Brockington
The Coffee Book by Gregory Dicum
Days of Wine and Roquefort by Avery Aames
Dead Voices by Katherine Arden
An Elephant is Not a Cat by Alvin Tresselt
Everything I Know About You by Barbara Dee
For a Muse of Fire by Heidi Heilig
Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass by Mariko Tamaki and Steve Pugh
It Began with a Page: How Gyo Fujikawa Drew the Way by Kyo Maclear and Julie Morstad
Lalani of the Distant Sea by Erin Entrada Kelly and Lian Cho
Level 13 by Gordon Korman
Middlegame by Seanan McGuire
Momentous Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling
Nevers by Sara Cassidy
The Okay Witch by Emma Steinkellner
Paper Girls, Volume 6 by Brian K. Vaughan
The Portal by Kathryn Lasky
The Revolution of Birdie Randolph by Brandy Colbert
Shelved Under Murder by Victoria Gilbert
Speed of Life by Carol Weston
Stargazing by Jen Wang
Under The Moon: A Catwoman Tale by Lauren Myracle and Isaac Goodhart
Vancouver Island: Sketches And Trip Notes by Albert Ranger
The Vanderbeekers to the Rescue by Karina Yan Glaser
Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell
Wilder Girls by Rory Power
Wonton Terror by Vivien Chien

Miscellaneous
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (October 07)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (October 14)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (October 21)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (October 28)
September 2019 Sources
September 2019 Summary

Road Essays
Road Narrative Update for September 2019

Previous month


Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

Canadian Book Challenge: 2019-2020



Privacy policy

This blog does not collect personal data. It doesn't set cookies. Email addresses are used to respond to comments or "contact us" messages and then deleted.


Lalani of the Distant Sea: 10/21/19

Lalani of the Distant Sea

Lalani of the Distant Sea by Erin Entrada Kelly is set on an island, Sanlagita, near another island. Sanlagita is suffering a drought. There are food and medicine shortages. The head of the village does nothing and refuses to let anyone else help in ways that he cannot.

Lalani has already lost her father and now her mother is ill from pricking her finger while mending fishing nets. The men of the village spend their time building boats and setting sail. Sometimes they fish. Sometimes they aim for the next island over, rumored to be a paradise, lush in fruits and medicinal herbs. The men who head to the island never return.

Lalani, tired of seeing the people she loves suffer decides to do something. At first it's to find solutions on her own island. This leads to being tricked by the beast of the mountain, resulting in a never-ending storm.

When her efforts lead to her ostracism and a deadly mudslide, she realizes she has nothing left to lose. It's at this point she decides to find the island herself, relying on the stories she has grown up with.

Mixed in with the tale of Sanlagita's suffering are the stories that make the fabric of the island's culture. They are based on Filipino folklore. Each story, beautifully illustrated by Lian Cho begin with "Imagine you're...." Each one offers a glimpse into the life of a creature, mystical creature, god, monster, and so forth.

Lalani's knowledge of the stories and her empathy for all the characters in the stories is what allows her to succeed where others fail.

Her journey to save her island also happens to sit on the road narrative spectrum in the same category as Keeper by Kathi Appelt (2010) and The Wild Robot by Peter Brown (2016), among others.

Lalani, who is facing the reality of being a literal orphan given her mother's illness, and her own ostracism from the village, is an orphan or lone traveler (FF). It's her solitude and the fact she has already lost so much that gives her the best chance of success.

Her destination is the wildlands (99) of a mystical island. It's uninhabited (by humans) and quite possibly inhabited by magical creatures, monsters, and gods.

Her route is offroad, namely over the untamed ocean and through a magical fog that is there to prevent the island from being found. The fog confuses sailors and usually leads to them either starving or drowning. Sometimes it ends up worse with the sailors killing each other. Lalani's determination, solitude, and knowledge of the stories helps her stay on the right path.

Put all together, Lalani's journey is the tale of an orphan going to the wildlands via an offroad route (FF9966).

Lalani of the Distant Sea takes a while to get started and the oral tradition of story telling might not be for everyone. That said, it's a memorable book and one that would lend itself to a classroom story time.

Four stars

Comments (0)


Name:
Email (won't be posted):
Blog URL:
Comment:

Twitter Tumblr Flickr Facebook Facebook Contact me

1997-2019 Sarah Sammis