Book: Beyond the Bright Sea (2017)
Author: Lauren Wolk
Genre: MG, Mystery/Historical Fiction
Opening lines from the book …
My name is Crow. When I was a baby, someone tucked me into an old boat and pushed me out to sea. I washed up on a tiny island, like a seed riding the tide.
WHAT I LIKED ABOUT THIS BOOK…
1) Crow is such an interesting main character. At the age of 12, she becomes curious about where she came from and goes about trying to solve the mystery. She writes letters. She visits islands. She even does some of this without any adult supervision.
2) Which brings me to the adults in her life: Osh and Miss Maggie. I love these two characters. They have such love and support for Crow. Osh is like her dad, while Miss Maggie is her teacher. Every child needs an Osh and Miss Maggie!
3) This book has treasure hunts, nearly-desert islands, and mystery galore!
4) It’s fun to piece together the clues as the mystery begins to sort itself out. More clues are added and we finally get our answers. Or most of our answers.
5) I was fascinated by the history behind this story, especially of Penikese Island which housed a leper colony until 1921. How the locals treat Crow (thinking she might have leprosy) was heartbreaking to read about. Since the hospital is closed by the time the story takes place, we only get to “see” the empty buildings, etc. And most of our information (in the book) comes through the letters that Crow receives from the nurse.
6) That book cover is beautiful!
THINGS THAT BOTHERED ME…
1) When I went back, I finally found the page that lets us know when the story takes place. It’s 1925. But I missed this information (probably because it was on its own page, in small print, and looked like a dedication page) when I first read it. Therefore, I wasn’t sure if this was a historical book or a fantasy? I think the name Crow made me think it was some sort of magical realism. But then, none of those elements came into play! I just wish they had put the “1925” on the same page as the first chapter.
I really enjoyed this book. It’s a mystery with elements of the historical and adventure novels. I highly recommend it!
(P.S. Thank you to Rosi Hollinbeck for this book! I won it a gazillion years ago as a giveaway. And finally, I got down to reading it. It’s been sitting on my TBR pile forever!)
Have you read this book? What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!
Note: I’m posting this for Greg Pattridge’s Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday…