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Ultramarine: 2 Hardcover – April 30, 1992
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover," illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Learn more
From School Library Journal
Grade 5-7-- This story interestingly interweaves fantasy with realistic fiction, but is somewhat burdened by an excessively complex and mysterious set of family relationships. Ned, 11, and Nell, 8, are forced to face their true origins when their half-crazed grandmother reveals that the woman who has lovingly cared for them all their lives is not their birth mother. Rather, it was Grandmother's daughter, Ultramarine, who drowned several years before while rescuing sea birds. They also learn that the shipwrecked sailor whom they meet on the beach, and whom they help to care for oil-covered birds, is their real father. He had deserted his young family years ago to travel wherever sea birds were endangered and needed rescue. Is this man really half kelpie, as the story hints? And how did the ocean rescue the children from the accident that years ago killed the man they had believed to be their father? Neither of these questions is satisfactorily resolved. Sometimes the thread of fantasy strains credulity and disrupts the story, as when the sea apparently enters the house to soothe the children. On the realistic side, the plight of oil-injured creatures is vivid, but there is no hint of any solution to this distressing situation. Because these ambiguities are not satisfactorily developed, the book is not completely successful. Readers who enjoyed the author's ``Snow Spider'' trilogy (Dutton) may be disappointed. --Virginia Golodetz, St. Michael's College, Winooski, VT
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Kirkus Reviews
Nimmo (``The Snow Spider'' trilogy) turns from Welsh legend to kelpie lore, weaving a delicate strand of fantasy into a story about siblings who discover their true identities while following an inborn call to save sea birds imperiled by environmental disasters. Left with a warmhearted aunt and a bitterly antagonistic grandmother--neither of whom they remember meeting before--while their mother (Leah) honeymoons with a new husband, Ned (11) and Nell (8) make friends with charismatic Arion, who seems to rise from the sea and with whom they are mysteriously at ease; he takes them to rescue sea birds after an oil spill, leading to a tragic confrontation between Nell and her witchlike grandmother. Finally, it turns out that Arion, who believes himself to be half-kelpie, is actually their father, and their mother was not Leah but ``Ultramarine,'' who died on a mission to save sea birds, and who was sister to Leah's first husband. As usual, the realistic part of Nimmo's story is the most interesting: Ned's protective role toward his withdrawn sister, their anguish on learning that Leah is not their birth mother, the bereaved grandmother's dementia. But the environmental plea is not as well integrated as in Ruth Park's My Sister Sif (1991), which dealt more skillfully and imaginatively with similar themes; still, this also holds attention with its aura of magic and mystery, appealing characters, and intricate, unusual plotting. (Fiction. 11-14) -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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