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Stories from Indonesia

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Girl of the Southern Sea
Format: Hardcover
Grade Levels: 4; 5; 6; 7;

For girls all over the world, fighting for the futures they deserve...

A girl from the slums of Jakarta dreams of an education and the chance at a better life. But first she must battle the dangers of local superstition and thwart her father's plan to marry her off to an older man.

From the time she was a little girl, Nia has dreamed up adventures about the Javanese mythical princess, Dewi Kadita. Now fourteen, Nia would love nothing more than to continue her education and become a writer. But high school costs too much. Her father sells banana fritters at the train station, but too much of his earnings go toward his drinking habit. Too often Nia is left alone to take over the food cart as well as care for her brother and their home in the Jakarta slums.

But Nia is determined to find a way to earn her school fees. After she survives a minibus accident unharmed and the locals say she is blessed with 'good luck magic,' Nia exploits the notion for all its worth by charging double for her fried bananas. Selling superstitions can be dangerous, and when the tide turns it becomes clear that Nia’s future is being mapped without her consent.

If Nia is to write a new story for herself, she must overcome more obstacles than she could ever have conceived of for her mythical princess, and summon courage she isn't sure she has.

Educator Information
Recommended Ages: 9-13

Includes a glossary of Indonesian terms.

An Author's Note at the end of the novel provides more context about the story in relation to the author's own life experiences, as well more information on global issues that affect girls all over the world like poverty, forced marriages, lack of education and healthcare.

Themes: Homelessness & Poverty; Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance; Drugs, Alcohol, Substance Abuse; People & Places (Asia, Indonesia); Legends, Myths, Fables (Asian).

Additional Information
224 pages | 5.50" x 8.00" | Glossary of Indonesian Terms | Map situating Indonesia

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