cover image The Serpent’s Secret

The Serpent’s Secret

Sayantani DasGupta, illus. by Vivienne To. Scholastic Press, $17.99 (368p) ISBN 978-1-338-18570-6

Mythology, science, and interdimensional travel merge in this imaginative story about one girl’s search for self and the discovery of pride in one’s culture. Kiran has grown up being told that she is an Indian princess and has been raised on stories about creatures of Indian legend and lore—all of which she thinks is her eccentric parents’ way of instilling their culture in her. In reality, they are trying to prepare her: on Kiran’s 12th birthday, a spell protecting her expires, her parents disappear, and Kiran is attacked by a demonic rakkhosh. After meeting a pair of prince brothers, Kiran travels to the realm of her birth, the Kingdom Beyond Seven Oceans and Thirteen Rivers, in an effort to rescue her parents. Her journey takes her through a shifting mythological landscape that she confronts with daring, humor, and a no-nonsense attitude while learning more about her true history. The over-the-top action and ample banter will leave readers looking forward to more of Kiran’s adventures. Art not seen by PW. Ages 8–12. Author’s agent: Brent Taylor, Triada US. Illustrator’s agency: Shannon Associates. (Feb.)