Beyond the Bright Sea
Written by Lauren Wolk
A brand-new baby, alone in a skiff, washed up on your island. What would you do?
Osh, or maybe his name is Daniel, took the baby in, called her, Crow, because that’s what her squawking sounded like, and raised her. Their only real neighbor, Miss Maggie, lives on the next island. They must wade through part of the ocean to even get between her place and theirs. Theirs, being only a shack.
What brought Osh, or Miss Maggie to the Elizabeth’s Islands is never discovered, but the mystery of baby Crow is unraveled by the twelve-year-old girl herself. She just wants to know where she came from and why she was put to sea in a tiny boat, all alone. Osh is afraid the truth will change her, them, and their lives.
Filled with metaphors drawn from the island life of tending sheep and mucking out chicken coops, meaning as well as humor leaps from the pages turned rapidly by grade five and well above readers, anxious to see what could possibly happen next.
Long buried treasure, threats, storms, leprosy, sinking ships, and finally finding out she was right where she belonged all kept Crow grounded in what is important in life.
Each character is so well developed and real, the reader is left missing them just after closing the cover of the book. Many things worth thinking about are gently presented, like how we treat our neighbors. But no preaching is done, well, sometimes a little scolding by Miss Maggie, but then, everyone will recognize her commonsense way of living and loving.
Teachers and librarians will remember, Wolf Hollow, and will order this work from Lauren Wolk immediately in order to read it before book club time. This will be gobbled up by the students.
This book is sure to be an award winner for years to come.
- Title: Beyond the Bright Sea
- Author: Lauren Wolk
- Publisher: Dutton Children’s Books, 2017
- Reviewer: Elizabeth Swartz
- Format: Hardcover, 299 pages
- ISBN: 978-1-101-99485-6
- Genre: Fiction
- Grade level: 5 Up