Crack in the Sea

8 CDs. 9:45 hrs. Listening Library. Jan. 2017. $50. ISBN 9781524755188. digital download.
Gr 4–8—Imbued with fantasy and history, this complex multilayered tale is set in worlds with an oceangoing raft village and an isolated island community. Quest-filled journeys, magical powers, and a kidnapping are woven together as three sets of siblings navigate voyages spanning centuries and continents. Accompanied by caring friends and searching for a mythical portal, the children in these related stories are resilient and resourceful. This unique work has a wide range of characters: a fearful king, a kind storyteller, two huge one-eyed sea monsters, and a boy dealing with face blindness. Narrator Bahni Turpin delicately balances the novel's many voices and their emotions. The broad-ranging text is steered by examples of endurance, loyalty, and courage.
VERDICT Heavy with twists and turns, this is a challenging but worthwhile story for upper-elementary and middle school fans of fantasy underpinned with facts.

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