|Sea in winter|
Author: Day, Christine
After an injury sidelines her dreams of becoming a ballet star, Maisie is not excited for her blended family's midwinter road trip along the coast, near the Makah community where her mother grew up.
Kirkus Reviews (+) (11/15/20)
School Library Journal (00/12/20)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/12/20)
The Hornbook (00/03/21)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 12/01/2020 Gr 4–6—Maisie loves ballet. The studio where she dances is her "sanctuary," the place where there are no bad days. Now that she's torn her ACL, a key ligament, she experiences depression. At times, she feels disconnected from her family, and her grades suffer. During an annual midwinter vacation to her stepdad's native home, she realizes that her dreams of being a dancer may not come true. With the help of her family and therapist, Maisie learns that even though life may not work out the way she wants, she can still move forward. Maisie is Native American. Her mother is Makah, her father was Piscataway, and her stepdad is a citizen of the lower Elwha Klallam Tribe. The scenery of the Pacific Northwest is beautifully painted in this insightful #OwnVoices novel, and the text offers some important history. All the characters are relatable, especially Maisie, her stepdad, and brother. However, her experience with depression is very briefly addressed as a passage in her journal and oversimplified. There is also an unrealistic plot point. Recovering from an ACL tear would deter a lot of families from walking on uneven terrain. Yet on their vacation, Maisie and her family walk on rocky beaches, dig for clams in the ocean, "stumble through clay-like mud," walk up winding boardwalks, and trudge through snow. Maisie is so worried about her ability to dance; it doesn't seem plausible that her parents would risk her getting hurt again, which inevitably happens. VERDICT Resonant and well-represented Native American characters, and a few flaws make this a choice for many middle grade collections. Some fans of realistic fiction will enjoy.—Rebecca Fitzgerald, Harrison P.L., NY - Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 12/15/2020 Maisie has devoted herself to ballet since she was four, but a torn ACL puts the seventh-grader’s dream of dancing professionally on hold, perhaps permanently. Maisie is months into her physical therapy as the story opens, keeping the focus of the narrative on the process of healing, physically and emotionally, as well as learning to move forward, even if that means letting go of certain plans. Such a loss hurts, and Maisie finds herself lashing out at her parents and pushing away her dancer friends in response. It takes a setback during a family outing to connect with the Makah and Klallam sides of her heritage for Maisie to truly face the facts of her situation and find hope in this unexpected detour. Day’s contemplative #OwnVoices novel adeptly explores Maisie’s grief and identity, both as a dancer and as a Native American, with the latter organically highlighting variations within Native cultures. An inaugural title of the Native-centered imprint Heartdrum, this finds strength and beauty in life’s quiet moments and opportunity in the unexpected. - Copyright 2020 Booklist.