Girl of the Southern Sea

Kadarusman, M.
Fourteen-year-old Nia dreams of being a writer but her family is too poor for her to attend school so she must care for her brother and help her alcoholic father tend his food stand. Nia struggles in Jakarta’s slums to earn money to pay for rent and food, avoid the many dangers on the streets for girls and women, escape an arranged marriage to an older man, and somehow not lose her dream. This engaging Canadian novel focuses on Nia’s attempt to overcome poverty and gender inequality, the importance of courage and resiliency, and the power of dreams. Useful as an independent, read-aloud, or literature circle novel, and to foster discussion. Social considerations noted.
English Language Arts
  • 6-9