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The Land of Forgotten Girls

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  2,479 ratings  ·  467 reviews
Two sisters from the Philippines, abandoned by their father and living in impoverished circumstances in Louisiana, fight to make their lives better.

Soledad has always been able to escape into the stories she creates. Just like her mother always could. And Soledad has needed that escape more than ever in the five years since her mother and sister died and her father moved S
Hardcover, 299 pages
Published March 1st 2016 by Greenwillow Books
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Amy I think more in terms of grade. I would say appropriate for 4th grade up (probably up to about 7th) but would have most impact on 6th-7th graders.
Maryam You can't buy books from Goodreads. You can buy it from amazon.com…moreYou can't buy books from Goodreads. You can buy it from amazon.com(less)

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Average rating 3.89  · 
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Hannah Greendale
Click here to watch a video review of this book on my channel, From Beginning to Bookend.

Soledad (Sol) was only seven when her sister Amelia drowned. She was eight when her mother died, and she barely had time to recover from her mother's passing before her father remarried and moved the family to America. When she was nine, Sol's father went back to the Philippines to attend a funeral and never returned. Now that she's twelve, Sol and her younger sister Ming live with their abusive stepmoth
Sue (Hollywood News Source)
An empowering and moving story about sisterhood.

“She isn’t rich. She’s clever. That means she knows how to use her imagination. When you can do that, you can do anything.”

This is something Soledad’s mother would always say. She was a weaver of words. A magnificent storyteller. A fairy godmother that would gladly whisk you away from the danger of reality.

And, when she died. Soledad doesn’t know how to escape the peril of drowning into her own trance.

Soledad and Dominga.

Sol and Ming for short. The
Neil (or bleed)
Things I know to be true: I like this book. Scratch that. I love this book!
Mariz Dela Cruz
Nov 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed reading The Land of Forgotten Girls, I didn’t encounter boring scenes. I liked Sol’s fairy tales, they really took me to fascinating places. I think this one is a book for all ages, this is different from other Middle Grade books.

I liked the flashbacks in the Philippines and it made me smile when I read a Filipino word. I got attached to the characters, especially with Sol. She’s just 12 year old and she’s already carrying a lot of burden. I love Sol and Ming’s strong sibling bond, the
Dec 07, 2015 marked it as to-read
Filipino-American author! Filipino protagonists! :D I can't wait to get my hands on this book. I've never read a book that had Filipino characters before, and as a Filipino myself, this is really exciting for me :D :D ...more
Kelly Hager
Feb 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is seriously amazing. It's the kind of novel that exudes hope and faith and is essentially destined to become a classic.

I immediately loved Soledad (and her little sister Ming) and I rooted for them to be able to get away from their stepmother somehow. (Even knowing that there's really no chance, as they are both so young.) I also love the fact that the author chose not to make Vea a caricature of evil; there are glimpses that she's also been damaged by life.

Everything about this book
Angel Fame
Apr 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was about a girl named Sol and her sister, Ming. Sol had another sister, before Ming, that died from drowning in the Philippines. Sol thinks that it was all her fault. Sol's mother also died so now she lives with her dad and her evil stepmother, Vea. They moved to Louisiana together but Sol's father abandoned them after and left them all alone with Vea. I love this book, I find it very interesting because this is the first book I have read about Philippines. ...more
Mar 14, 2018 rated it it was ok
Erin Entrada Kelly's career as a novelist started fast with two books in two years, leading up to the monster success of her third novel (Hello, Universe), which won the Newbery Medal. The second of those first two books, The Land of Forgotten Girls, mines Ms. Kelly's Filipino family history for a fresh story of growing up American when you were born in a land of less opportunity. Twelve-year-old Soledad (Sol) Madrid has had several unfortunate breaks in life: her little sister Amelia drowned un ...more
Abby Johnson
Dec 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Oh man, this book broke my heart.

It's a little bit of a modern fairy tale but without the magic (although these two imaginative sisters like to imagine lots of magic). Sol and her little sister were born in the Philippines but came to American with their father and stepmother after their mom died. Now their father has gone back to the Philippines, leaving them in a crummy apartment in Louisiana with their wicked stepmother. To help her sister cope, Sol imagines a place called The Land of Forgot
”My mother once told me that sisters were bound by invisible ribbons, and these ribbons held them together until the end of time, no matter what.”

3.5 out of 5 stars

I don’t have a sister, but if I did, I’d want one as fiercely protective and imaginative as Sol.
Adriana (SaltyBadgerBooks)
Jan 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own

I'm not crying, you're crying. Excuse me while I mend my broken heart! Oh my gods, this book hit me right in the feels. It was so creative and I love all the stories woven in! I couldn't help but think of my siblings when I reading. And I of course thought about my younger sister so it was really heartwarming and breaking at the same time.
May 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is such a lovely story about sisterly relationships and I loved it. I especially enjoyed the writing style and Sol's character development throughout the book. I can't wait to read more of Erin Entrada Kelly's books. ...more
Jen Breen
Jan 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
First 0ff, the title--so powerful. Not only did I enjoy this book but inpspiring to any of any age that has suffered abuse during childhood or felt like an outsider. It offers a realistic sense of hope that is often not found within children's literature. It's real--authentic and does not patronize the reader. Another piece I especially loved about this book is the aspect of strong girls connecting with and building upon each other's strengths in a non stereotypical way and across social backgro ...more
CW (The Quiet Pond) ✨
A lovely, lovely book about sisterhood and the power of stories.

- Features two utterly adorable and precious Filipino-American girls, Soledad and Dominga - Sol and Ming for short.
- Celebrates and explores the power of stories and storytelling - how the stories we have and tell are passed onto children, who then pass it onto their children - or, in Sol's case, her little sister Ming - and how stories are powerful in taking us away to somewhere else, somewhere better.
- I really loved and connected
Kami Stohl
Sep 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is a book about two sisters. It's about hope and love and family, and about the power of imagination. It was sad, but still left me feeling uplifted. The relationship between Sol and Ming was so powerful. It made me wish I had a sister! ...more
kim hannah
⭐⭐⭐ 2.5 Stars

"My mother once told me that sisters were bound by invisible ribbons, and these ribbons held them together until the end of time, no matter what."

I just didn't connect with the characters. The beginning was slow and boring. The ending felt unfinished and rushed. Nothing was resolved.

It's a bit disappointing. Being the eldest, I know what it's like to have two younger sisters to look after. I know the bond we have even if I've moved out or have a 12 year gap with the youngest - w
Kori Morris
Aug 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Fantasy and realism intertwined - this book reminds me a lot of Bridge to Terebithia. In both the book is in large part about siblings and friends, though the antagonists in BtT are bullies and here she is the wicked step-Mother. In both the protagonists escape reality through a fantasy world, and encounter adults who aid their cause.

I recommend this to anyone who likes Bridge to Terebithia, or who thinks they might.
This book falls into that sad category of "book I really, really wanted to like but just couldn't." I loved that the protagonists were two Filipina sisters (yay diversity!) and that the story didn't shy away from tough topics (death, abandonment, bullying, class divide). Lots of good stuff to work with.

Still, it felt like so much happened and yet nothing happened at all. There are some interesting characters introduced, but I felt like the author missed the opportunity to expand on them. And, y
I couldn’t ask for a better Expecto Patronum book than this one for #DAReadathon.

Sol weaves stories for herself and her sister Ming in order to cope with loss at different points in their lives.

Cont'd on the blog:
Dec 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade-ya
"She isn't rich...she's clever. That means she knows how to use her imagination. When you can do that, you can do anything." (p. 74)

"The best thing about having a mind is that it's invisible—you can think whatever you want, even if it's childish, and it doesn't matter. Your thoughts belong to you, and only you." (p. 225)

Ashley Blake
Jun 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Gah, I loved this book so much. A heartbreaking tale of sisters and dashed hopes, this book still manages to feel hopeful. It's real and messy and so, so inspiring. Highly recommend. ...more
Laina SpareTime
Jan 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Cross-posted from my blog where there's more information on where I got my copy and links and everything.

I really like middle grade books about sisters, I’m realizing. I love that Dicey Tillerman, Delphine Gaither type of character. Sol reminds me so much of them that I feel like I should start keeping a list of this type of book. Her voice is so mature and that lends itself very well to a character that feels the weight of the world on her shoulders.

I actually went into this expecting something
Laurie • The Baking Bookworm

This was my first book by Erin Estrada Kelly and is one of my 'Bookstagram enticed me to read it' picks. It is written for a younger audience and is a sad story about young immigrant sisters who face many obstacles in their young lives and rely on their imaginations, sisterly bond and memories to get them through.

The story follows the lives of Sol Madrid and her younger sister Ming who are living with their abusive stepmother Vea in the US after their father returns to the Philippines and has li
Mar 27, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I had so much fun reading this book. It was a perfect choice in soothing my possible reading slump. I love how light it is and amazing the characters were. It connects me somehow since like the main protagonist I am also the eldest among my siblings. Though on the other hand, there were some issues that weren't resolved and close properly but still I give it a 5 star since it warms my heart and felt the message of the author to its reader. ...more
Mar 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Wow, Soledad you and Ming have a pretty rough life. But, I love this book so much, was the end suppose to be a cliffhanger? My grandma is like Ms.Yueng, gotta love her. I have so many questions about what happened, everything came into the picture. For those of you that have NOT read this book, I highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys learning about other cultures. I developed a lovable feeling for this book. I couldn't put it DOWN! ...more
Jun 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
"The truth has a thousand voices."

What a meaningful, poignant and timely book. This is a great cultural narrative that would pair with so many great pieces of historical fictions about the immigrant narrative. It would create some powerful comparisons to the past and present immigrant experience.

What gorgeous voices.
cutesyreader ツ
Urmm... I don't know but I seem to can't get into the story. I might give this book a second chance of reading soon. ...more
Aug 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
I LOVED THIS BOOK! It got me interested from LITERALLY THE FIRST PAGE TO THE LAST (I'm serious) and had great characters (mainly) that (mainly) make sense. Just there were a few things I was unable to ignore:
Even though this was a wonderfully interesting and emotional novel, I find it highly unrealistic in some places. Isn't this supposed to be REALISTIC fiction?
Besides those and some other things I was t
Nursyafiqah Wai
Apr 03, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: novel
At last, I managed to finish this book. I took a lot of time to finish it because the plot is a bit slow in the beginning and in the middle but I cannot put down the book towards the end. This is because I want to know what happened to the two girls. Nonetheless it tells you the story of sisterhood and imagination and will definitely warm your heart.
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