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The Secret of the Purple Lake

illus. by Gbolahan Adams. 93p. Cassava. Apr. 2018. pap. $9.95. ISBN 9781911115311.
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Gr 10 Up-A collection of five tales spanning from Ghana to Spain to Thailand. "The Fisherman's Daughter" is set in Ghana and concerns a young girl who longs to go fishing with her father instead of staying at home in a more domestic role. When her father does not return from fishing one day, the family consults the oldest, wisest woman in the village. She tells the young girl that she must collect her father's bones from the sea and in return the sea will keep her forever. Along the way, she befriends a whale and fights off the terrifying Fish-man. Upon returning the bones to her mother, she has turned forever into a sea goddess and must remain in the sea. Subsequent stories tell of princesses and their quest for the perfect husband to marry. Characters reappear in later tales. The final entry tells of the previously mentioned Fish-man and how he came to dwell in the sea and later escape from it. While the concept that people undergo universal experiences is intriguing, the execution is lacking. The number of daughters seeking husbands in the second vignette inexplicably changes from four to five, and this narrative is monotonous.
VERDICT The disjointedness of the stories make this a supplemental purchase.-Carol Connor, Cincinnati Public Schools

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