- Age Range: 10 and up
- Grade Level: 5 - 6
- Lexile Measure: 0770 (What's this?)
- Hardcover: 304 pages
- Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers (May 2, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1101994851
- ISBN-13: 978-1101994856
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1.1 x 8.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 80 customer reviews
Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
#5,777 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #16 in Books > Children's Books > Literature & Fiction > Historical Fiction > United States > 1900s
- #25 in Books > Children's Books > Growing Up & Facts of Life > Family Life > Orphans & Foster Homes
- #84 in Books > Children's Books > Growing Up & Facts of Life > Friendship, Social Skills & School Life > Girls & Women
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Beyond the Bright Sea Hardcover – May 2, 2017
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From School Library Journal
Gr 5–8—The definition of family and one young girl's struggle to find out who she really is take center stage in Wolk's follow-up to her Newbery Honor book, Wolf Hollow. As long as she can remember, Crow has lived her whole life on the sleepy island of Cuttyhunk, part of the Elizabeth Islands off the coast of Massachusetts. When she was a baby, only days old, a lonely fisherman named Osh found her moored on the rocks after being set adrift in a shabby rowboat. The only place Crow could have safely come from and still survived the boat trip is the neighboring island of Penikese, whose sole occupants were the patients and staff of a leper colony. Many of the townspeople avoid Crow like the plague, assuming that she carries the disease despite exhibiting no physical symptoms. Even though Crow is loved by her adoptive father and their kind and helpful neighbor Miss Maggie, she is determined to discover where she comes from and (hopefully) locate her birth family. Wolk's writing is lyrical and heartrending. Her impeccable research of the area during the 1920s (described in a lengthy author's note) is on full display. Crow, Osh, and Miss Maggie are fully fleshed-out characters who jump off the page. Wolk strikingly conveys the intense feelings of hope and anxiety Crow and Osh experience, respectively, as Crow sets out to track down her birth family. This is a tear-jerking yet ultimately uplifting tale of establishing one's place in the world and realizing that sometimes your family is the one you make, not the one you are born into. VERDICT A stellar story full of heart, action, and emotion that will make readers feel like they are a part of Crow's family.—Christopher Lassen, BookOps: The New York Public Library and Brooklyn Public Library
“Be warned, once you pick up Beyond the Bright Sea, you won’t be able to put it down...Lauren Wolk's writing is at once lyrical and fraught with danger and suspense, as Crow follows her instincts to hunt down a past that has eluded her and face an unknown future.” – NPR’s Best Books of the Year
“The sight of a campfire on a distant island…proves the catalyst for a series of discoveries and events—some poignant, some frightening—that Ms. Wolk unfolds with uncommon grace.” –The Wall Street Journal
★ “Creating mystery and suspense in an unusual setting, Newbery Honor–winner Wolk spins an intriguing tale of an orphan determined to find her roots, set in the 1920s…. Crow is a determined and dynamic heroine with a strong intuition, who pieces together the puzzle of her past while making profound realizations about the definition of family.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
★ “The mysteries—and the words that describe them—are compelling enough to send readers to the islands for years to come. A beautiful, evocative sophomore effort from Newbery honoree Wolk.” —Kirkus, starred review
★ “Wolk has a keen sense for the seaside landscape, skillfully mining the terror the ocean can unleash as a furious nor’easter heightens tension in the novel’s climax.” — Booklist, starred review
★ “A stellar story full of heart, action, and emotion that will make readers feel like they are a part of Crow’s family.” — School Library Journal, starred review
“[A] hauntingly beautiful sea song of a historical novel.... As Crow searches for clues to her origins, this soulful book turns into a riveting adventure.” — Scholastic Teacher
“A beautiful tapestry of pirate-treasure adventure, suspense, a search for family, and warm family bonds that’ll keep the pages turning and the heartstrings tugging.” — Common Sense Media
“A sweeping work self-discovery and love, Beyond the Bright Sea is thought-provoking and pitch-perfect in every way.” —The Times Herald
“This is the story of a girl trying to discover who she is and who she wants to be, but it is also a fast-paced thriller with kidnapping and buried treasure, a murderous escaped convict, and a shipwreck. Crow, Osh and Miss Maggie are wonderful characters, quirky and lovable and real. The lessons Crow learns about people and herself are profound. The sea crashes, and the smell of salt and fish and ocean spray will make you feel drenched as you read. The writing is fabulous.” — Historical Novel Society
“Heart-wrenching, Lyrical.” — New York Public Library Biblio File blog
Praise for Lauren Wolk's Newbery Honor–winning debut, Wolf Hollow:
“The honesty of Wolf Hollow will just about shred your heart, but Annabelle’s courage and compassion will restore it to you, fuller than before. This book matters.” —Sara Pennypacker, New York Times bestselling author of Pax
“An evocative setting, memorable characters, a searing story: Wolf Hollow has stayed with me long after I closed the book. It has the feel of an instant classic." —Linda Sue Park, Newbery Medalist and New York Times bestselling author
"Wrenching and true. . . . comparisons to Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird will abound. But Wolk gives us her own story—one full of grace and stark, brutal beauty." —The New York Times Book Review
"This exquisite debut confronts injustice and doesn't flinch." —People
"[A] powerful debut . . . beautifully written." —The Wall Street Journal
★ “Trusting its readers implicitly with its moral complexity, Wolk’s novel stuns.” —Kirkus, starred review
★ "The narrative is powerful, complex, and lifelike . . . a truly moving debut.” —School Library Journal, starred review
★ "Wolk movingly expresses Annabelle’s loss of innocence through the honest, clear voice of her protagonist.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
★ "Perfectly pitched to be used in classrooms in conjunction with To Kill a Mockingbird.” —Booklist, starred review
★ "The tension builds and never lets up." —The Horn Book, starred review
Top customer reviews
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I was a big fan of Lauren Wolk's previous novel, Wolf Hollow and she did not disappoint with Beyond the Bright Sea. The characters are wonderfully developed and the setting is vibrant, wild and beautiful. She is a master storyteller and I look forward to other books in the future.