Author: Falls, Kat
When fifteen-year-old Ty, who has always lived on the ocean floor, joins Topside girl Gemma in the frontier's underworld to seek and stop outlaws who threaten his home, they learn that the government may pose an even greater threat.
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|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.80
Points: 9.0 Quiz: 136705
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 6-8
Reading Level: 4.30
Points: 16.0 Quiz: 48786
Common Core Standards
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Craft & Structure
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → 4.RL Integration & Knowledge of Ideas
Grade 4 → Reading → RL Literature → Texts Illustrating the Complexity, Quality, & Rang
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Key Ideas & Details
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Integration & Knowledge of Ideas
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → 5.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
Grade 5 → Reading → RL Literature → Texts Illustrating the Complexity, Quality, & Rang
Grade 6 → Reading → RL Literature → 6.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
Grade 6 → Reading → CCR College & Career Readiness Anchor Standards fo
Kirkus Reviews (04/01/10)
School Library Journal (06/01/10)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (A) (06/10)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 05/15/2010 Sixteen-year-old Ty, first child born to the pioneers who live in the depths of the ocean, has little patience for topsiders (land dwellers) until he meets feisty Gemma, who immediately enlists his help to locate her missing older brother. Their search is interrupted by pirate attacks of the notorious Seablite Gang and an ultimatum from the Commonwealth Government (located topside) that makes the pioneers responsible for stopping the raids. Ty and Gemma uncover connections between the pirates, illicit medical experiments, and Gemma’s missing sibling, who happens to have secret supernatural gifts—like Ty. Although set in an undersea future, this rousing adventure has all the hallmarks of a western, including outlaws, homesteaders, and plenty of shoot-’em-up action (only with harpoonlike weapons). Good guys and bad guys are fairly obvious, as is the outcome, but the exotic setting and well-conceived details about undersea living, along with likable characters and a minor surprise at the end, will keep readers turning the pages. Try this with the ecofiction of David Klass. - Copyright 2010 Booklist.
Bulletin for the Center... - 06/01/2010 Fifteen-year-old Ty was raised on the ocean floor, and he can’t wait to homestead his own plot of underwater land and become independent. Catastrophic conditions above water have led to the population being crowded into extremely small pieces of land, but even in these circumstances, most Topsiders are suspicious of anyone who chooses to live at the bottom of the ocean. Ty, on the other hand, would never give up the space, freedom, and adventure of his life, and he is alarmed when a roving gang of raiders threatens all of the ocean pioneers. In addition, his routine is thrown off by the arrival of Gemma, a brash and attractive Topsider teen in search of her missing brother. She speaks her mind freely and takes risks he can’t imagine taking, becoming both the antidote to his predictable life and a challenge he isn’t at all sure he can handle. Ty and Gemma are realistically different from each other in ways that make their early sparring and later romance feel authentic. Unfortunately, romance fans may be the only satisfied readers, as the sci-fi elements on which the plot is primarily based (the above-water situation, the supernatural powers the kids born and raised underwater all seem to be developing, and the government experimentation that has shaped both the gang and the pioneers themselves) are far less carefully crafted than the pairing of Ty and Gemma or the elegant descriptions of oceanic life. Even so, readers will likely find the details of jellyfish-inspired houses and fish farming to be clever, and they will inevitably cheer Ty’s hard-won happy ending. AS - Copyright 2010 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
School Library Journal - 06/01/2010 Gr 6–10— In this futuristic coming-of-age tale, 15-year-old Ty has spent his whole life in a deep-sea colony on the ocean floor. His family and the other pioneers provide fish and other food for the Commonwealth citizens who live aboveground in stacked cities following earthquakes and tsunamis that destroyed much of the Earth. The pioneers chafe under the harsh rule of the Commonwealth, a situation made worse when those who live subsea are charged with capturing a gang of pirates that has been terrorizing Commonwealth ships and pioneer homesteads. Ty is swept up in the hunt for the bandits when Gemma, a "Topsider" orphan, comes to his community to search for her missing brother, who may have ties to the pirates. First-time author Falls has created a riveting adventure story that action fans and reluctant readers will enjoy for its fast pace. Teens will like the budding romance between Ty and Gemma and the marvelous, imaginative depictions of life on the ocean floor. Minor characters, such as Ty's neighbors and younger sister, are fully fleshed out in their few short scenes. Although the identity of Gemma's brother and the subplot regarding his past with the pioneers' doctor are hastily explained and not completely satisfying, this is a small point that doesn't detract from the creative setting, adventurous plot, and likable teen heroes. Readers will cheer Ty on in his pursuit of the pirates and clamor for more tales of undersea life.—Leah J. Sparks, formerly at Bowie Public Library, MD - Copyright 2010 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.