Sometimes, our book dump room in school labeled “library” actually contains some gems. So really, like a book, never judge a library by it’s lack of titles relevant for class discussions.
I was suppose to discuss this book with my tutee, but without a background in Philippine mythology and creatures like aswangs and kapre, the underlying message of the book would be lost, and my seven-year-old might be more frightened than enlightened.
Anyhow, I was surprised by the story of the book, especially since this is supposed to be a children’s story. It is, since the story is about a child and the protagonist is one, but the message is serious, timely, and universal.
The story is about Ningning, a girl who is in “trouble” of discontinuing school because her parents are rumored as aswang and kapre. She is interviewed by three teachers and with all their questions, she answers with politeness, pride, and reason of her family’s uniqueness. The story wraps with the teachers’ being enlightened of Ningning’s background, situation, and how she is not so different with them after all. She is just being true to herself, and she chose not to hide it from others. She is not ashamed to be what society deems “weird” because she is just being herself.
Beautiful literature from the Philippines about the Philippines. ♥