Rummanah Aasi

Description: Crow has lived her entire life on a tiny, isolated piece of the starkly beautiful Elizabeth Islands in Massachusetts. Abandoned and set adrift on a small boat when she was just hours old, Crow's only companions are Osh, the man who rescued and raised her, and Miss Maggie, their fierce and affectionate neighbor across the sandbar.
 Crow has always been curious about the world around her, but it isn't until the night a mysterious fire appears across the water that the unspoken question of her own history forms in her heart. Soon, an unstoppable chain of events is triggered, leading Crow down a path of discovery and danger.

Review: After loving Wolk's gorgeous debut novel, The Wolf Hollow, I could not wait to read more from her. Beyond the Bright Sea is a solid follow up novel though I didn't love it as much as The Wolf Hollow and that might be due to reading a few books before this one that all had the same plot: a young child discovering and understanding the definition of family and the struggle to find his/her identity. 
  As long as she can remember, Crow has lived her whole life on the sleepy island of Cuttyhunk, part of the Elizabeth Islands off the coast of Massachusetts. When she was only a few days old, a lonely fisherman named Osh found her moored on the rocks after being set adrift in a shabby rowboat. The only possible place Crow could have safely come from is the neighboring island of Penikese, which was a leper colony. Due to this fact, Crow's world has only been limited to Osh and her friendly neighbor Miss Maggie. Many of the townspeople avoid Crow like the plague, assuming that she carries the disease despite exhibiting no physical symptoms.
  Though Osh is her adoptive father and Miss Maggie fills a mother-figure roll, Crow does not feel whole. She is determined to discover where she comes from. The mystery surrounding Crow's parentage, her link to Penikese and her hopeful search for her her birth family drives the story forward. Wolk's writing is simple yet powerful, expertly depicting Crow's, Osh's, and even Miss Maggie's wide range of emotions from the highs of hope and belonging to the lows of anxiety and fear. Beyond the Bright Sea is uplifting tale that reminds us that sometimes your family is the one you make, not the one you are born into.

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: There are some disturbing images in the book. Recommended for Grades 4 and up.

If you like this book try: Pablo and Birdy by Alison McGhee, The Eyes of the Amaryllis by Natalie Babbit
4 Responses
  1. Love the message behind this one, it is just beautiful!

  2. Oh I love that... especially "sometimes your family is the one you make, not the one you are born into." I also love the way you describe her writing. So curious!

  3. Given how many students don't live in a two-parent household that past generations were used to, books like this one are important.

  4. Kindlemom Says:

    I love that you described this as having an array of emotions in it. I really do love books that can bring all those feels out. Wonderful review!

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