Strong female characters appealing to girls and boys
April 12, 2018
There has been new interest in mythology and folktales for young readers in recent years, thanks in part to Rick Riordan. He brought us Greek, Egyptian and Norse mythology with his wonderful books about Percy Jackson, the Kane siblings and Magnus Chase, respectively.
Each series has an in-depth look at all of these old stories and brings them to life for this generation. This has also paved the way for other authors to tell the tales of their cultures. So I have found two outstanding new books for that fan of mythology and folklore.
“The Serpent’s Secret”
by Sayantani DasGupta
“The Serpent’s Secret,” by Sayantani DasGupta is a delightful coming of age story about Kiranmala, Kiran for short, a young girl in the sixth grade of Indian descent. While she has strong values from her cultural heritage, she has to overcome many struggles that come from the meshing of her Indian and American backgrounds.
Her parents desire for her to go as an Indian princess for Halloween every year, which also happens to be her birthday.
But on her 12th birthday, she finds that her parents are missing and the only people who can help her are princely brothers Lal and Neel.
Kiran now must travel to the foreign land of the Kingdom Beyond Seven Oceans and Thirteen Rivers, and take her destiny into her own hands to save not only her parents, but all New Jersey, too.
Sayantani DasGupta was raised on these folktales of West Bengal India and brought them to us in this magnificently funny new series,”Kiranmala and the Kingdom Beyond.” This book is full of wonderful descriptions of place and fantastic vocabulary for a great summer read.
“Aru Shah and the End of Time”
by Roshani Chokshi
“Aru Shah and the End of Time,” by Roshani Chokshi is another marvelous summer read for middle grade students. Aru lives about the Museum of Ancient Indian Art and Culture with her mom.
She is very engrossed in her Indian culture, but has a bad habit of stretching the truth in some of her stories to her friends. So one day she tells the tale of the Lamp of Bharata and how it is cursed.
When she goes to light the lamp, everything freezes in time except for her. Aru now needs to get help from the Pandava brothers to reverse the curse and free everyone.
These books have strong female characters that will appeal to girls and boys who love adventure and make you keep turning the pages.
I feel that I have expanded my horizons by reading these books. They are both fantastic reads.
These titles are available at Off the Beaten Path bookstore and Bud Werner Memorial Library.
Chris Erickson is the store manager at Off the Beaten Path.