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THE GUARDIAN TEST by Christina Soontornvat


From the Legends of Lotus Island series, volume 1

by Christina Soontornvat ; illustrated by Kevin Hong

Pub Date: March 7th, 2023
ISBN: 9781338759150
Publisher: Scholastic

Does Plum have what it takes to become a shape-shifting Guardian?

Raised by her grandparents since her parents died in a boating accident, Plum has spent her childhood learning about plants and animals. She hasn’t ventured far from her island home, part of the Santipap Islands, but when she is accepted into the prestigious Guardian Academy, where she will train to become a Guardian along with other children from all walks of life, her grandparents encourage her to go, certain that her future holds more than their little island can provide. At the Academy, Plum’s tendency to talk to plants and animals strikes some of the students as strange, though she also begins to make friends. In the Santipap Islands, Guardians have the power to shift into an animal shape to better protect the land, and Plum’s first test is to find her own animal shape—but will she succeed, or will she be forced to return home a failure? With a Thailand-inspired setting, magic rooted in nature and the environment, and whimsical illustrations, this is a promising beginning to a series ready to introduce readers to both the fantasy genre and a beautiful and mysterious new world. All characters are somewhat loosely implied to be Thai due to character and place names.

Themes of friendship and environmentalism combine in this magical school story.

(map) (Fantasy. 7-11)