Tag Archives: the secret of the purple lake

The Secret of the Purple Lake

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

MY SUMMARY

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.

RATING

🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

HAVE FUN WITH THIS BOOK

  1. Watch the author read from the book here:

CHALLENGE: The Secret of the Purple Lake

CREATE (WRITE a Story/Poem OR DRAW)

  1. Write three interwoven stories.  (500 words each)

Send your answers to ugochinyelu.anidi@gmail.com.

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

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Hello Universe

Title: Hello Universe 

Author: Erin Entrada Kelly

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Number of pages: 320

Type of Book: Fiction, adventure, drama, contemporary

Genre: Middle Grade

Age: 8 – 12

Buy it here: https://www.amazon.com/Hello-Universe-Erin-Entrada-Kelly/dp/0062414151

Price: $10.49

MY SUMMARY

This heartwarming tale follows the lives of 4 very different kids with distinct loveable traits, Virgil (the shy one), Valencia (the courageous, deaf one), Kaori (the self-acclaimed psychic) and Chet (the bully). Virgil, the protagonist, is a shy, often bullied, middle grader with one fervent wish, to find the courage to talk to the girl of his dreams, Valencia. To achieve this goal, he enlists the help of another middle grader, Kaori. When Virgil sets off for his meeting with Kaori, he comes across Chet, his nemesis, and as a result, finds himself trapped in an abandoned well, deep in the woods. Faced with the horrible fate on never getting out of the well, he must reach inside himself to find the strength to overcome his fears …

THUMBS UP AND DOWN

UP: As you may have already guessed, I am not a fan of contemporary fiction but this was a delight to read. It has little bits of adventure, humour, tragedy, light romance, great pacing and suspense! I decided to read it because sometime last month, everyone in the #kidslit community was talking about it. I love it because it didn’t disappoint at all. In fact, it surpassed expectations. It was so good that I totally forgot to read as a writer until I was half way through.

I loved the use of multiple perspectives! First, the story was told from the point of view of four different characters, then 3 out of those characters had their stories told in third person while one, Valencia’s, was told in first person using the present tense. It was executed to perfection and each character’s voice was distinctive.

I absolutely loved learning about Filipino culture and folktales. I also really enjoyed the fact that the characters were strikingly diverse; there’s a Japanese-American, a Filipino-American and one with a hearing defect. In Hello Universe, Erin Entrada Kelly celebrates friendship and overcoming one’s fears. Having Virgil, Valencia and Kaori find themselves in the end was nothing short of beautiful. I love happy endings! The last line was absolutely heartwarming. I almost cried! I highly recommend this one.

Note that this book won a NEWBERY!

DOWN: It had a sagging beginning problem! The first few chapters were quite slow! It also did lean heavily towards fate and the powers of the universe and Ouija boards and the like. Not my cup of tea.  

RATING

🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

HAVE FUN WITH THIS BOOK

  1. Read an excerpt here: https://preview.aer.io/Hello_Universe-MjQwMDQ=?social=0&retail=0&emailcap=0

CHALLENGE: Hello Universe 

CREATE (WRITE a Story/Poem OR DRAW)

  1. Read the excerpt using the link above, then write your own ending. (500 words)

Send your answers to ugochinyelu.anidi@gmail.com.

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 13th 2021.

Next Book of the Week:

THE SECRET OF THE PURPLE LAKE by Yaba Badoe

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photo credit: Amazon