Secret Sisters of the Salty Sea
by Perkins, Lynne Rae

Nervous about leaving home when her parents pack them up to spend a first family vacation at the beach, Alix, accompanied by her older sister, makes friends, goes exploring and shares adventures in picking periwinkles, discovering horseshoe crabs and making sandcastles. By the Newbery Medal-winning author of Criss Cross. 40,000 first printing. Simultaneous eBook.

*Starred Review* Alix and her older sister Jools have never been on a real vacation before. So when the family packs up the car and heads off for a week at the beach, the girls don't really know what to expect. To Alix's surprise, the water isn't turquoise blue and there aren't palm trees. But there are new friends to be made, odd foods to eat-periwinkles!-and even a falcon to be set free at a preserve. Newbery medalist Perkins offers a story as relaxed and shiny as a summer's day. There are no big reveals here, no mystery to be solved; this is all about the ordinary pleasures available to most children who aren't so programmed that there's no time for reading or building sand castles. But ordinary pleasures, in the hands of a writer so skilled, are elevated. Perkins begins before dawn, and everything from the glowing sky to the darkened houses, to the "streetlamps casting pools of light," invite readers to step inside the story. Each chapter is its own small treasure, a mix of the everyday and the unexpected, all written in way that delights the senses-even the sixth sense as Alix sends mental messages to her dog and best friend that she still misses them. Old-fashioned in the best sense of the phrase. Grades 3-6. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

Sisters expand their world after a memorable week at the ocean with their parents. Driving to the ocean for their first time ever, "adventure-y" Alix and her older, more cautious sister, Jools, envision "white sand and turquoise water and palm trees." Arriving at the rental beach house, they discover "grayish green" water with "large and startling" waves. Nevertheless, as the week unfolds, they take long beach walks, build fabulous sand castles, search for periwinkles to eat, and fashion beach glass into necklaces. Alix becomes pals with their landlady's granddaughter while Jools and her father visit an interesting old lighthouse. A family outing to a wildlife refuge seems like a "boring walk through deserted places" until they spy raccoons and Alix holds an injured falcon. By week's end, Alix thinks how different their vacation has been than she expected and wonders "what amazing thing would happen next." Perkins proves experiences do not have to be extraordinary to be life- changing as she insightfully describes Alix's and Jools' savoring the sights, smells, sounds, and simple pleasures of the ocean, perfectly captured in comfortable prose. Precise black-and-white illustrations add humor and insight to the sisters' seaside adventures, depicting Alix's family with pale skin and their landlady's with dark. Gentle, satisfying family-oriented fare for pre-vacation reading. (Fiction. 8-12) Copyright Kirkus 2018 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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