Girl of the Southern Sea is a story of courage, resilience and hope.
Fourteen year old Nia lives in the slums of Jakarta in Indonesia and faces challenges beyond her years as she raises her little brother Rudi and helps her father run their fried banana cart. Nia is a clever student and talented storyteller who writes amazing stories about the mythological Princess Dewi Kadita, Princess of the Southern Sea. Nia's dream is to become a writer. She desperately wants to go to high school, but her family barely has enough money for food and Nia is forced to leave school.
When Nia survives a bus accident unharmed, some people say she is blessed with good-luck magic. As everyone seeks some of Nia's good-luck magic, her father's business thrives, but Nia's life is endangered when people begin questioning the magic.
Nia's dream is threatened when her father makes a secret promise that will change the direction of her life. With courage and determination and some unexpected help, Nia takes matters into her own hands to create the future she seeks.
Michelle Kadarusman writes with great compassion as she explores issues that some girls around the world face, including poverty, forced marriage and a lack of education, health care and opportunities.
Thank you for the copy of this book to review University of Queensland Press.