The Turnaway Girls

Hayley Chewins. Candlewick, $16.99 (272p) ISBN 978-0-7636-9792-1
Delphernia Undersea, 12, longs to escape the dank cloister where she must silence her singing voice or be “swallowed by the sea.” As one of the turnaways, who are neither seen nor heard, Delphernia’s only function is to make shimmer: gold molded from the music of the Masters, which pays the Custodian of Blightsend for their upkeep. Delphernia can’t seem to create shimmer, though, and is punished cruelly for it. Then, while everyone sleeps, Delphernia frees her voice, creating a golden bird with a beating heart. When she is chosen by young Master Bly to leave the cloister to spin gold, she’s terrified that her secret—that she can create life with her song—will come out, but wonder and shocking revelations await her on Blightsend, as does a friendship with a fellow outsider, a female Master named Linna Lundd. Writing in Delphernia’s wry voice, Chewin, a poet, weaves an unusual, beautiful debut that sings with all the grace of the cloisterwings that Delphernia brings to life with her soaring voice. Entwining themes of rebellion, freedom, identity, and finding one’s destiny are at the center of this lovely tale. Ages 10–14. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 11/12/2018
Release date: 10/09/2018
Genre: Children's
Compact Disc - 978-1-9786-4468-7
MP3 CD - 978-1-9786-4465-6
Compact Disc - 978-1-9786-4466-3
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-9871-4549-6
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