Turtle Under Ice

S. & S./Simon Pulse. Feb. 2020. 272p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781534442955.
Gr 7 Up–In the six years since their mother died, Filipino American sisters Rowena and Ariana have dealt with their grief by coasting on autopilot, going through the motions necessary to keep up appearances. They even have had moments of happiness, like anticipating the arrival of a new baby sister by their likable stepmother, Maribel. But when Maribel miscarries 12 weeks into her pregnancy, the sisters’ worlds come crashing down. No longer able to fake being all right, they each react in different ways. Ariana sets out in a snowstorm without telling anybody, determined to display artwork inspired by her mother at a downtown art exhibit. Rowena turns inward, rebuffing the attempts of her best friend to help her and focusing on soccer instead. Del Rosario aptly conveys each sister’s depth of emotion and pain in beautifully written free verse that alternates viewpoints and helps fill the gaps in the narrative. The lyrical writing is purposefully sparse, but the author does a fine job of building a tangibly melancholy atmosphere using few words. The girls are described as brown-skinned and their dad is Filipino.
VERDICT A poignant, quiet novel in verse that will appeal to teens seeking a meaningful story. A recommended purchase.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing