Sunday, May 20, 2018

~ MMGM Feature on 'Beyond the Bright Sea' ~

by Author Lauren Wolk --

ABOUT THE BOOK {from Goodreads}:
From the author of the critically acclaimed Wolf Hollow comes a moving story of identity and belonging.

Twelve-year-old Crow has lived her entire life on a tiny, isolated piece of the starkly beautiful Elizabeth Islands in Massachusetts. Abandoned and set adrift on a small boat when she was just hours old, Crow's only companions are Osh, the man who rescued and raised her, and Miss Maggie, their fierce and affectionate neighbor across the sandbar.

Crow has always been curious about the world around her, but it isn't until the night a mysterious fire appears across the water that the unspoken question of her own history forms in her heart. Soon, an unstoppable chain of events is triggered, leading Crow down a path of discovery and dange.

Vivid and heart wrenching, Lauren Wolk's Beyond the Bright Sea is a gorgeously crafted and tensely paced tale that explores questions of identity, belonging, and the true meaning of family

The Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction, 2018
Nominated for the Newbery Award, 2018

ABOUT THE AUTHOR {from Goodreads}: 

Lauren Wolk is an award-winning poet and author of the bestselling Newbery Honor–winning Wolf Hollow, described by the New York Times Book Review as "full of grace and stark, brutal beauty." She was born in Baltimore and has since lived in California, Rhode Island, Minnesota, Canada, and Ohio. She now lives with her family on Cape Cod.


I read the author's first middle-grade novel, 'Wolf Hollow', last autumn. If you'd like to read my blog post about that book, click on this link: Link to 'Wolf Hollow' Blog Post

I found Lauren Wolk's writing in 'Wolf Hollow' to be exceptional, and I rated the book as one of my top five books I've ever read. Several months later, after reading many more books, 'Wolf Hollow' still holds its place in my top five. When I checked out 'Beyond the Bright Sea' from the public library I expected it to be a good read--but it is also an exceptional historical novel.
The story is built upon a strong foundation of an appealing oceanside setting, multi-dimensional characters, and some suspicious and mysterious events. The author skillfully peels back layer upon layer of misperceptions by the main characters and the community in which they live until the reader is left with the raw truth about many people and events. An example of this unveiling of truths is the fact that I did not know the gender of the main character for several chapters. {By the way--I was wrong in my assumption regarding Crow's gender.}
As enjoyable as the story is the 'A Note About This Book' section which immediately follows the story text. In it the author details how she came up with the idea for the plot and the research she completed to validate some of the locales and events in the story.
Don't miss reading the 'Acknowledgments' following the above section. In it the author thanks many people who contributed to the novel in various ways. In her final paragraph the author writes, "I loved writing Beyond the Bright Sea . . ." Her affection for her stories and her dedication to her craft are readily apparent to readers.
I can hardly wait to read Ms. Wolk's next middle-grade novel. I don't know when it's coming or what the subject matter will be, but I can promise you I don't want to miss a chance to read another outstanding novel written by this unique author!
I highly recommend this book to fans of historical fiction, middle-grade fiction, fictionalized American history, and clean fiction. I suggest that this may be a good family read aloud as there are some deeply emotional themes about family, identity, and loss woven throughout the story.
 ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~ * ~
-- Tuesday, May 22nd: Book Blast for 'Rescue'. Post includes book spotlight, author bio, and $50 giveaway. Event hosted by I Am A Reader.

--  Wednesday, May 23rd:  Blog Tour Stop for 'Dating the Prince'. This clean romance is a retelling of Mark Twain's 'The Prince and the Pauper'. Post includes book spotlight, excerpt, and a giveaway. Blog Tour hosted by I Am A Reader.

--  Friday, May 25th:  Blog Tour Stop for 'Cowboys of Summer'. This post includes an interview with the author, book spotlight, and a giveaway. Blog Tour hosted by JustRead Publicity.
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  1. I've had this one high on my list of books to read. The oceanside setting and the bit of mystery you referred to have convinced me to clear the way for a read this summer. Thnaks for your thoughts.

  2. Happy MMGM, Greg ~ You're welcome for my thoughts. Thank you for stopping by today. I hope you enjoy this novel as much as I did. Happy Summer Reading, June

  3. This sounds like a must read, with lots of great writing insights as a bonus to the story content. Thanks for the recommendation, and happy MMGM!


    1. Hey there, Suzanne ~ I love to read about writing insights shared by other authors. You're welcome, and thanks for stopping by my blog. Best, June

  4. I really loved this story as there were so many layers. I liked how the island/sea was a strong character. A lot of tension and danger and history in this novel. Lauren Wolk is at the top of my list of authors to read, and I loved Wolf Hollow.

    1. Hi, Patricia ~ I hadn't thought of it before, but you are spot-on about the island/sea being a strong character in this novel. In fact, I agree with everything you posted in your comments. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Regards, June

  5. I still haven't read this one, but I'm intrigued! Will definitely be looking for it.

    1. Hello, Andrea ~ I hope you find this novel and the author's writing to be as inspiring as I have. Thanks for stopping by my blog today. Sincerely, June

  6. Sounds like a great story. Love the blurb and cover too.

    1. Hi, Natalie ~ Isn't the cover beautiful? I hadn't noticed the feather graphic on the ocean waves until I was halfway through the story. The feather is significant in this novel! Thanks for posting your comments here. Best, June

  7. Wow. I had no idea Wolk had a new book out. I LOVED Wolf Hollow! I will be looking for this one. I do love the cover and your review makes this very enticing. Thanks for the post.

  8. Hi, Rosi ~ Thank you and you are welcome! Lauren Wolk's work has captured my heart and my mind. I can't wait for her next novel. Hope you get to read this one soon. Regards, June