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Reviewed by A. L. Peevey for Readers' Favorite
In J.P.H. Tan’s Kate in the Land of Myths and Wonders, we discover that Kate is an only child, and a rich one at that, due to her father's and her grandmother’s wealth. Raised as a church-going girl, she is having a crisis of her faith in God. With a warning from her grandmother, Kate sets out for Chicago with her best friend, Gus, to celebrate her fifteenth birthday. While they are enjoying a stroll through one of Chicago’s iconic parks, and snapping some photos, the city is engulfed by a flood that drowns the city and sweeps everyone and everything apart and away. Kate is washed beyond the confines of this world and into a series of places where creatures of myth roam and natural weather phenomena have magical properties. She not only finds herself on an adventure she never dreamed of, but begins a journey of self-discovery as well.
J.P.H. Tan’s Kate in the Land of Myths and Wonders presents us readers with a very human protagonist in the form of Kate, a teenager who has never had to without anything except for the attention of her father. Her grandmother instills in Kate what might be considered an old-fashioned faith in God and an intimate knowledge of the Bible. Yet, there is nothing preachy about Tan’s story. Kate’s faith and her subsequent dissatisfaction with it are presented as part of her process of growth and growing up. There is some teen angst, but it does not get in the way of the narrative, which is always spot on, providing a diverting, thoughtful read. I don't remember the last time I read such a well-edited book! The writer's voice is sure and unwavering. Well done!