A Swirl of Ocean

Knopf. Aug. 2019. 224p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781524720131.
Gr 4-6–In this coming-of-age story with a magical twist, 12-year-old Summer must come to terms with the new changes in her life and the mysteries of her past. The setting—a small beach town with a big summer tourist trade—and the realistic friendships between the main characters give Sarno’s story heft and richness. The main narrative is interspersed with dreams that Summer experiences after drinking a little too much ocean water. This other narrative is also well developed, but the apparently supernatural connections between the two aren’t well explained.
VERDICT Recommended for young readers who enjoy realism with a sprinkling of magic, such as fans of Wendy Mass’s “Willow Fall” series. Otherwise, not a first purchase.

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