The Last ­Mapmaker

OrangeSky Audio. Apr. 2022. 721p. $21.99. ISBN 9781667068220.
Gr 3-7–Thai American and double Newbery Honoree Soontornvat gets culturally and linguistically matched with Thai-fluent, (self-described) “blended” Asian American (of Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese heritage) Sura Siu for engrossing high-seas exploits in search of mythical lands. For 12-year-old Sai, being Master Mapmaker Paiyoon’s assistant means daily joy in her work and relentless fear of her lowly background being discovered. Joining Paiyoon on a royal voyage to chart southern waters is a dream come true—and not only because she’ll be able to delay her mandated 13th-birthday reveal of her damning lineage. Of course, mutiny wasn’t part of the route. Siu agilely adapts to a myriad of characters, from tenacious Sai, patient Paiyoon, manipulative father Mud, charismatic Miss Rian; she’s especially entertaining as “curse-slinging” stowaway Bo.
VERDICT Soontornvat’s fans will surely appreciate access via multiple mediums; Siu assures listeners chills and thrills.

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