Title: The Secret of the Purple Lake
Author: Yaba Badoe
Publisher: Cassava Republic Press, 2017
Number of pages: 122
Type of Book: Short stories, fiction, adventure, myths and legend.
Genre: Middle Grade
Age: 8 – 12
Buy it here: The Bookworm Café; https://cassavarepublic.biz/product/the-secret-of-the-purple-lake/ ; https://www.amazon.com/Secret-Purple-Lake-Yaba-Badoe/dp/1911115316
Price: N1800, N1500; $3.99
The Secret of the Purple Lake is a collection of five interwoven, wildly adventurous stories set in the roaring seas and disappearing castles of Africa and Europe (think Ghana, Spain) and featuring characters with mythical origins and magical powers. It begins with the story of Ajuba, a young girl in Ghana who must undertake a perilous journey under the sea to recover her dead father’s bones and bring them home.
THUMBS UP AND DOWN
UP: This was a very exciting read for me for many reasons. First of all, I am a fan of stories with magic and adventure. Two, I had never read a short story collection quite like it. The craft element I found really appealing was the weaving together of several stories and this was not done in the form of parallel stories but using stories that happened through the span of two centuries. The major highlight was trying to discover how the stories were linked. Other highlights included the story of the fish-man, a scary creature with the body of a man and the head of a fish, Imoro the magic elephant, the walrus prince and of course, the Eagle-Queen. The characters are immediately likeable or totally despicable. I also absolutely loved the use of lyrical language.
‘Flying within the clouds is like dancing on vapour and gliding above them feels like kissing the Sun.’”
DOWN: When I picked it up, I assumed it was a middle grade adventure (that is, one story and not a collection of stories) so when I started reading the first story, I felt cheated many times because I felt the writer was in a hurry and therefore wasted the opportunity to clearly describe things to me in a way that would make me connect more to her story. By the time I got to the end of the first story I was a bit puzzled, I felt like I had just read the outline of a middle grade adventure rather than a full-fledged short story.
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HAVE FUN WITH THIS BOOK
- Watch the author read from the book here:
CHALLENGE: The Secret of the Purple Lake
CREATE (WRITE a Story/Poem OR DRAW)
- Write three interwoven stories. (500 words each)
Send your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Entry requirements: Entrants must be within the 8 – 12 age range. The first correct entry will be announced on this page and will win a copy of this book.
Answers must be submitted before 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, June 27th 2021.
Next Book of the Week:
JUBA AND THE FIREBALL by Yejide Kilanko