"I live in Oregon, Im an only child, and Im awesome. You probably know me: My name is Birdie Sidwell." "I live at sea, I am alone, and I am awestruck. You do not know me: my name is Morgan Bera." In alternating voices, two wildly different girls share the story of one incredible adventure in Susanna Vances quirky, absorbing follow-up to her 2001 original debut, Sights
. Spectacularly spoiled 13-year-old Birdie is the treasured only child of older, academic parents who have decided to take a year off from their hectic schedules to travel the Caribbean. Somber 17-year-old Morgan has been raised on the ocean by a pair of unconventional Norwegian sailors, who have of late surrendered to the siren call of alcoholism as consolation for the accidental drowning of Morgans older sister. These two opposites, light and dark, shallow and deep, come together when naive Birdie is kidnapped by a charming but utterly ruthless modern-day pirate named Nicholas. Only Morgan, with her folkloric knowledge of the sea, guided by the spirit of her dead sister, has the intuition and wisdom to save Birdie. It will take all of Morgans intelligence, paired with Birdies charisma, to overcome Nicholass murderous intentions and bring the girls home. Susanna Vances delightfully eccentric brand of storytelling is a cross between Dorothy Parker and Monty Python, with a little Faulkner southern gothic thrown in. At once bizarrely strange and warmly familiar, Deep
will continue to resound with teen readers long after the last page is turned. (Ages 12 to 15) --Jennifer Hubert
From School Library Journal
Grade 6-8-Two totally dissimilar girls meet under extreme circumstances. Birdie, 13, is the coddled only child of highly educated professionals living in a small town in Oregon. Morgan, 16, is the only surviving child of a couple who dropped out of life in Norway to sail the seven seas in a small clipper. Both teens become the prey of a handsome, charismatic psychopath based on a small private island in the Caribbean and must team up to save their lives. Alternating first-person chapters provide ample evidence of their contrasting temperaments and experiences. Birdie is voluble and expansive-sometimes to the brink of tedium. Morgan is matter-of-fact and affects emotional detachment. Birdie has known little trouble in her life; she occasionally suffers severe asthma attacks, but otherwise she has existed swathed in the cocoon of her parents' love and attention. Morgan's baby brother was stillborn at sea, her beloved older sister drowned-swept overboard by a giant wave-and her parents have lapsed so deeply into alcoholism that Morgan has taken their boat and abandoned them in desperation. Their individual trajectories to the crude wooden cage wedged in an abandoned well in which they are imprisoned make for interesting reading. However, they pale next to the descriptions of the teens' interaction once they are together and the taut, suspenseful story of their escape. This adventure will keep readers turning the pages to see what happens next.Miriam Lang Budin, Chappaqua Public Library, NY
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.