cover image Secret Sisters of the Salty Sea

Secret Sisters of the Salty Sea

Lynne Rae Perkins. Greenwillow, $16.99 (240p) ISBN 978-0-06-249966-0

Newbery Medalist Perkins (Criss Cross) vividly captures the world through a child’s eyes in this quiet novel chronicling Alix Treffrey’s weeklong vacation on the beach with her parents and her “more mature” sister, Jools. In the first chapter, Perkins conveys the excitement and coziness of beginning a journey before dawn (“As the car began to move, she snuggled under the sleeping bag.... [Alix] pictured herself wearing her newer bathing suit, floating maturely on her boogie board in the turquoise water”). Each chapter that follows highlights a discovery or event that makes the trip memorable. Some incidents, such as temporarily getting separated from her parents at a crowded service plaza and having a giant june bug plant itself on her arm, aren’t very pleasant, but most experiences—making a new friend, holding an injured falcon in her arms, finding sea glass on the beach—are wondrous reminders of how small miracles make life worth living. Perkins draws on all five senses to evoke nature’s beauty and show the ebb and flow of Alix’s emotions as she eagerly explores new territory. As in her previous novels, Perkins’ sensitive spot art illuminates the characters’ inner and outer worlds. Ages 8–12. (May)