Monday, October 24, 2016
MMGM: Turn of the Tide
When I see Roseanne Parry’s name on the cover of a book, I know I’m in for a treat. There’s a rare depth, heart, and honesty in all her books. As she’s a member of my local SCBWI, I’ve also had the pleasure of meeting her a few times, and she’s as nice as she seems. I was so excited when I heard about her newest book, THE TURN OF THE TIDE. Not only is this a great cousin story (how often do cousins feature in books?), but it’s set in beautiful Astoria, one of my favorite spots on the Oregon Coast.
Brace yourself. This is a good one.
Here’s the synopsis (from Amazon):
On a beautiful day in June, the ground broke open.
In Japan, you’re always prepared for an earthquake. That’s why Kai knows just what to do when the first rumbles shake the earth. But he does the exact opposite of what you’re supposed to do: He runs. And then the tsunami hits.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the Pacific, Kai’s cousin Jet sets sail off the coast of Astoria, Oregon. She knows she should have checked the tide—she always checks the tide. Except this time she didn’t.
When the biggest mistakes of their lives bring them together, Jet and Kai spend the summer regretting that one moment when they made the wrong decision. But there’s something about friendship that heals all wounds, and together, Jet and Kai find the one thing they never thought they’d have again—hope.
My favorite things about TURN OF THE TIDE:
1. A book about cousins: Siblings and friends feature prominently in kidlit, but I can’t think of another book that deals with cousins. As I never had any cousins my own age as a kid, I felt like I got to live vicariously through Jet and Kai’s friendship. Hooray for working together and family loyalty!
2. A warm, interesting family: Jet’s family is the kind of family you’d love to hang out with—I loved their teasing, their inside jokes, and their boisterousness. There was something about them that seemed so real—like they might live next door.
3. The Japanese element: I have stayed away from reviews of this book, trying not to spoil it for myself, so I didn’t know Kai was Japanese and affected by a tsunami till I hoped the book. The cultural differences, his heartache over his family, and the way he comes to terms with his dad’s Swedish-American heritage was really well done. And I loved reading about Japanese culture, food and traditions.
4. Interesting minor characters: Jet’s dad and his brother have to be some of the most memorable characters I’ve read in awhile. I loved how Dad fills up a room with his booming voice and mannerisms—and Oliver, Jet’s kid brother! Who couldn’t love this kid who dreams of being a pirate and reads book like THE THREE MUSKETEERS?
5. A satisfying ending: I won’t give it away, but I’ve noticed in Parry’s books that’s there’s always an element of sacrifice in the climax. I love what this leaves with the reader: even the main characters’ goals are not more important than helping others.
6. Setting: It’s set in Astoria, Oregon, home of the Goonies! I'm always excited to read books set in my home state. It’s pure fun reminiscing about some of the places she mentioned.
If you’ve enjoyed Parry’s other books, you will probably enjoy this, although like her other books, it's unique in its own way. I think it would compare most closely with HEART OF THE SHEPHERD, but with a treasure hunt boat race!
Have you read any books with a lot of heart lately?
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To check out more Marvelous Middle Grade suggestions, check out Shannon Messenger's blog.