Pen Pal – book review

Pen Pal
by Francesca Forrest
Realistic Fiction
* * * * Stars (Great!)

Emlee (Em) lives in a tiny community known as “Mermaid’s Hands” in a sort of houseboat in the mudflats just outside of Sandy Neck. One day she decides to write a letter – a message in a bottle – which she gives over to the Seafather (the ocean) and which eventually finds its way into the hands of one Kayamanira Matarayi who is being held prisoner above an active volcano for what her government views as political/religious crimes on her island home, W-. Em and Kaya, despite their age difference, have many things in common (both are members of small, unique cultures, and both have experienced prejudice and misunderstanding by outsiders). Their problems escalate as their exchange of letters continues, and it is only through their friendship that they are able to find the means to preserve their peoples, cultures, and beliefs. A touching story of two courageous and determined young women who are determined to do what is right and best.

Reviewed by YA Librarian


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