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Katha Sagar, Ocean of Stories: Hindu Wisdom for Every Age Paperback – December 1, 2016
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From School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—Conover and Janamanchi introduce more than 20 rich and varied Hindu myths and parables culled from epics, folk tradition, sacred literature, and 19th-century writer Ramakrishna. A brief, informative essay on Hinduism is included for readers who are unfamiliar with the subject. Throughout the stories, the gods can be scary and violent (Shiva beheads his small son and incinerates Kamadeva), and even sages don't always behave admirably, but virtues are firmly endorsed, and vices—specifically selfish greed—are condemned. Gender balance within the work is helped by the slightly strained framing narrative, which features a grandmotherly village storyteller. The age span between her and her listener implies a younger audience for these selections, despite the more mature content found throughout, a detail that may confuse YA readers. There are some unanswered puzzles (Are the gods immortal? When is the entire universe cyclically remade?), but as Conover reminds readers, the point is to experience the tales, not to seek philosophical consistency. Illustrations are colorful, intricate, and evocative. VERDICT For libraries without other Hindu stories or Indian myth collections.—Patricia D. Lothrop, formerly at St. George's School, Newport, RI
About the Author
Sarah Conover has written six books on world wisdom traditions and the spiritual education of families. Her interests lie in building bridges of understanding between people of differing world cultures and wisdom traditions. As a former high-school teacher, she strived to bring multicultural perspectives to her students by collaborating with other educators worldwide. She was the recipient of two U.S. State Department grants that brought U.S. teachers to the Middle East to initiate classroom collaborations between students in the two regions. Sarah lives in Spokane, Washington, where she teaches creative writing and Buddhist meditation.