Lalani of the Distant Sea
by Kelly, Erin Entrada; Cho, Lian (ILT)

A fantasy debut by the author of the Newbery Medal-winning Hello, Universe finds a young girl embarking on a quest normally reserved for boys in the hope of saving her village from life-threatening hazards, including a deadly plague affecting her mother. 150,000 first printing. Simultaneous eBook.

*Starred Review* On the island of Sanlagita, the strongest men have always sailed north in search of fabled Mount Isa. It is said that there are riches at Isa's peak, chief among them a yellow flower that can cure disease. All her life, 12-year-old Lalani has watched the sailors leave-including her own father-only for them never to return. When Sanlagita is beset by calamities-first a drought, then torrential rains, and finally illness befalling Lalani's mother-Lalani finds inspiration in the tales of Ziva, the precocious girl who long ago dared to stow away on a ship bound for Isa. Stealing a boat, Lalani sets sail hoping against hope that the smallest and least imposing of Sanlagita's sailors can be the greatest of all. Inspired by Filipino folklore, Newbery Award winner Kelly has woven her narrative with a mythology that is rich and delicious; it is also one fraught with peril. As Lalani journeys closer to Isa, she encounters the lethal flora and fauna that have bested the sailors who came before her. In true storytelling fashion, each of these creatures is given its own story and history, bringing the entire tale to life. By the end, 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.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Kelly's first novel since her best-selling, Newbery Award-winning Hello, Universe (2017) will make quite a splash with her many fans and possibly hook devotees of Disney's Moana. Grades 4-8. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

A young girl goes on an epic journey across the sea. Twelve-year-old Lalani Sarita lives on the fictional island of Sanlagita, where people say benedictions to the foreboding Mount Kahna and dream of sailing to paradise on Mount Isa. But sailors who journey to Isa never return. When a strange creature on Mount Kahna grants Lalani a wish, she discovers magic comes with a price. After her mother falls ill, the villagers turn on her, and with everything in ruins, she runs away in search of Isa and the flower that might save everyone. Along the way, she encounters creatures and plants, some friendly and some deadly. Lalani must overcome many hardships and challenges to create her own path. Inspired by Filipino folktales, Newbery Medalist Kelly (Hello, Universe, 2017) writes a heroic fantasy about making choices, going on a quest, and conquering evil. Though the tale is told primarily in the third person, characters develop deeply through revealed thoughts and actions. Each character adds another layer to the story, all facing their own issues, such as finding courage, patriarchy, and gender roles. Scattered throughout the novel are short, beautifully illustrated second-person vignettes allowing readers to imagine they are the mythical creatures Lalani encounters, adding yet another layer of depth and fantasy to the story. Fast-paced and full of wonder, this is a powerful, gripping must-read. (Fantasy. 9-12) Copyright Kirkus 2019 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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