November 22, 2017

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When the Sea Turned to Silver by Grace Lin | SLJ Audio Review

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redstarLIN, Grace. When the Sea Turned to Silver. 6 CDs. 7:37 hrs. Hachette Audio. Oct. 2016. $24. ISBN 9781478912538. digital download.

when the sea turned to silver audioGr 4-6– In this companion novel to When the Mountain Meets the Moon and Starry River of the Sky, the Black Tortoise of Winter’s chilly grip hasn’t stopped villagers from trekking up the mountain to hear tales from Amah the Storyteller. Upon their arrival, Pinmei, Amah’s granddaughter, hides in the shadows and listens. Life abruptly unravels when the conniving Tiger Emperor kidnaps Amah, and Pinmei, with her friend Yishan, must find the courage to rescue her beloved grandmother. While they are en route to find The Luminous Stone That Lights the Night, the only acceptable ransom, their encounters with travelers provide clues in thwarting the Emperor’s malicious scheme. Pinmei also discovers that her childhood of eavesdropping created her own deep spring of stories, which prove quite useful. Kim Mai Guest returns as narrator, superbly capturing each character. Her seamless switching from story to folklore is sharp and clear, allowing readers to easily follow along. In Lin’s skilled hands, enchanted readers find themselves “standing among the villagers as if pulled by a thread” in this companion novel woven tightly with elements from previous tales, creating a rich tapestry of fiction and Chinese folklore. Includes a PDF of Lin’s colorful illustrations. VERDICT This charming audiobook is a must-have for middle grade listeners and fans of Lin’s first two novels in the series.–Cheryl Preisendorfer, Twinsburg City Schools, OH

This review was published in the School Library Journal January 2017 issue.

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