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Maya and the Turtle, a fairy tale from South Korea

Book: Maya and the Turtle by Soma Han and John Stickler

Ages: 8+

Relationship to country: A fairy tale from South Korea

Book in a nutshell:  A girl finds a magical turtle and saves a village from a monster


The book Maya and the Turtle is a Korean fairy tale. A girl named Maya finds a turtle on a magical rock. When she finds him, the turtle is very small and probably vulnerable. Maya brings the turtle home, and she always makes sure the turlte has food even when she doesn't have very much to eat. The turtle grows very big. One day, Maya's father is very sick, and she is worried that he will die. 

Maya has heard about a village that is being attacked by a giant flying centipede. Very scary! The village has been sacrificing girls to try to save themselves from the giant centipede, but nothing is working. Maya decides to offer the village to face the centipede if they will pay her enough money to buy medicine for her father. She does not expect to survive. Maya goes into the forest, and the giant centipede can fly, and he is pretty scary. All of a sudden, Maya's turtle appears and starts fighting the giant centipede. 

I won't tell you exactly what happens, but I can tell you the moral of the story is that Maya's kindness to the turtle and to her father pays off big time!