The Land of Forgotten Girls by Erin Entrada Kelly [in School Library Journal]
Once upon a time, Soledad had two sisters and two loving parents. But tragedy can happen to anyone at any time, and suddenly, Sol and her younger sister, Ming, are transplanted to the other side of the world in a run-down apartment in Louisiana, abandoned by their desperate father and left in the (so-called) care of an abusive stepmother.
Sol’s only joyful memories have to do with stories, especially the fantastic adventures her lost mother shared starring the peripatetic, adventurous, world-hopping Auntie Jove. Buoyed by courage, and with new friends and a fairy faux-grandmother on her side, Sol just might figure out how to navigate this new world.
Narrator Lulu Lam’s quintessentially youthful voice effortlessly blends a wide variety of emotions, backgrounds, and intensities.
Verdict: Erin Entrada Kelly’s nuanced, resonating story about life between two cultures, surviving loss, and finding family in the least expected places is ideal for any quality middle grade collection; extra points for superb multicultural representation as well.
Reader: Middle Grade