|Crack in the sea|
Author: Bouwman, H. M.
Pip, a young boy who can speak to fish, and his sister Kinchen set off on a great adventure, joined by twins with magical powers, refugees fleeing post-war Vietnam, and some helpful sea monsters.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 5.10
Points: 11.0 Quiz: 188257
Kirkus Reviews (10/01/16)
School Library Journal (01/01/17)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/12/16)
The Hornbook (00/05/17)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 01/01/2017 Gr 5 Up—This engaging and wistful novel reimagines the outcome of tragic events from the past with a magical bent through three sibling-centered stories. First, readers meet Pip and his sister Kinchen, who live in the "second world" on one of the few pieces of viable land, the island of Tathenn. The rest of the population live on a giant community of rafts bound together, called Raftworld, ruled by the Raft King. Select people in this world are born with gifts—storytelling, the capacity to walk on water, and, in Pip's case, the ability to communicate with fish and other sea creatures. Next, readers are introduced to Venus and Swimmer, twins who, after being captured by a "first world" slave ship in 1781, eventually lead their people to freedom by going through a crack in the sea to the second world. Finally, there's Thanh, his sister Sang, and several relatives, who flee war-torn Vietnam in 1976 in search of a better life. A difficult journey, including a violent encounter with Thai pirates, leaves them desperate and hungry in the middle of the ocean. Though the plot is complicated and fantastical, Bouwman's world is never difficult to understand, and the three sibling tales eventually interweave beautifully. Shimizu's black-and-white illustrations enhance the narrative's progression. An afterword and further reading list provide insight and ideas for readers interested in the terrible true account of the Zong slave ship, which inspired the author. VERDICT Fans of Grace Lin will love this wholly original book that reads like a fairy tale. A moving and thought-provoking choice for library collections.—Kristy Pasquariello, Wellesley Free Library, MA - Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 02/01/2017 The Islanders never meant to come to the Second World. But come they did, and now they live peacefully alongside the Raftworlders. But the leader of the Raftworlders has a secret, one he hopes will open the portal between the worlds and bring his people home. Enter Pip and Kinchen, brother and sister Islanders. When the Raft King kidnaps Pip, desperate for Pip’s gift of talking to fish, to lead him to the portal, Kinchen sets out to rescue him. Bouwman’s novel is thus thrust onto the high seas! Along with Pip and Kinchen, we meet Venus and her twin brother, Swimmer—magical twins who escaped a slave ship bound for Jamaica in 1871. There’s also Thanh and Sang, a brother and sister fleeing war-torn Vietnam. Despite the novel’s magical elements (like sea krakens and time travel), Bouwman weaves together these stories of freedom and escape with a deep sense of respect and emotion, bringing the reader directly into each family’s search for a safety that transcends both time and space. - Copyright 2017 Booklist.