Lalani of the Distant Sea
Erin Entrada Kelly
There are stories of extraordinary children who are chosen from birth to complete great quests and conquer evil villains. This is no such story. Sometimes, you are an ordinary child. Sometimes, you have to choose yourself. This is the story of Lalani Sarita, a twelve-year-old girl who lives on the island of Sanlagita in the shadow of a vengeful mountain. When she makes a fateful wish that endangers her already-vulnerable village, she sets out across the distant sea in search of life's good fortunes. Grown men have died making the same journey. What hope does an ordinary girl have? Inspired by Filipino folklore, Lalani of the Distant Sea introduces readers to a landscape of magical creatures, such as Bai-Vinca, the enormous birdwoman; Ditasa Ulod, part woman, part eel; the mindoren, a race of creatures modeled after the water buffalo; and the whenbo -- trees that eat the souls of the dead.