A whisper on the tide
Sapphire's father mysteriously vanishes into the waves off the Cornwall coast where her family has always lived. She misses him terribly, and she longs to hear his spellbinding tales about the Mer, who live in the underwater kingdom of Ingo. Perhaps that is why she imagines herself being pulled like a magnet toward the sea. But when her brother, Conor, starts disappearing for hours on end, Sapphy starts to believe she might not be the only one who hears the call of the ocean.
In a novel full of longing, mystery, and magic, Helen Dunmore takes us to a new world that has the power both to captivate and to destroy.
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HELEN DUNMORE is a novelist, short story writer and poet. She has written twenty-two children’s books, including Brother Brother, Sister Sister; The Lilac Tree; The Seal Cove; and the bestselling Ingo series. She has written nine adult books including A Spell of Winter, which won the 1996 Orange Prize for Fiction. Her poetry collections have won the Poetry Society’s Alice Hunt Bartlett Prize and the Signal Poetry Award. Helen Dunmore was born in Yorkshire, England, and now lives in Bristol with her husband and children.From School Library Journal:
Grade 5-9–A family living on the coast of Cornwall gets caught up in the undersea kingdom of the Mer people. After their father mysteriously disappears, Sapphy and her brother, Conor, visit Ingo and find themselves yearning to return to the ocean world. Conor resists, but Sapphy has a stronger affinity with the watery kingdom. While she struggles with its temptation, she also clashes with her mother, who seems too ready to forget the children's father. These elements come together in an exciting climax in which the siblings risk traveling to Ingo to save the life of the human diver their mother is dating. Sapphy's present-tense narration brings readers right into her world. Through her eyes, they see the beauty of Ingo, the comfort of her earthbound home, and the confusing muddle of thoughts and emotions that her experiences inspire. The undersea world seems equal parts menacing and alluring, which builds suspense and keeps everything pleasingly unpredictable. Relationships are especially well drawn. Sapphy is dedicated to Conor, despite some jealousy; she loves her mother, though she's keenly aware of how different they are; and she is not sure how to feel about Faro, the charming, sometimes angry young Mer man who serves as her undersea guide. Strong character development combines with an engaging plot and magical elements to make this a fine choice for fantasy readers, who will look forward to the next installments in this planned trilogy.–Steven Engelfried, Beaverton City Library, OR
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