A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Secret Sisters of the Salty Sea, written and illustrated by Newbery Medal winner Lynne Rae Perkins, is a sweet, dreamy tale of a young family's first beach vacation. As with the award-winning Criss Cross, there's not much in the way of plot or exciting developments, more a series of visual and emotional snapshots of what it feels like to spend a week at the beach when you're a kid. Any danger that looms, from sneaker waves to sibling rivalry, is quickly overcome, usually by wise and timely parenting. While the reading level is 8 and up, this is an excellent read-aloud book for younger kids also, as the illustrations, vivid descriptions, and kids'-perspective experiences are engaging and fun.
What's the story?
This is the tale of siblings Alix (younger) and Jools (older and more "mature") and how their family's first beach vacation turns them into SECRET SISTERS OF THE SALTY SEA. As the narrative meanders along, each day brings a new discovery -- horseshoe crabs, building sand castles, making new friends, trying new foods. Also a few laughs along the way.
Is it any good?
Sweet, dreamy, often funny, Newbery Award-winning author/illustrator Lynne Rae Perkins' family-at-the-beach story evokes a lazy summertime vibe and a safe, loving world of family, friends, and nature. If you're looking for action-packed adventure, Secret Sisters of the Salty Sea is not for you. But if you've never built a sand castle or released a falcon into the wild, young protagonist Alix's experiences will give you a vivid sense of what that's like.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about vacations at the beach. Have you ever spent a few days at the seashore? What was it like? Did you do things like the family does in Secret Sisters of the Salty Sea, or something completely different?
Alix and Jools are surprised when the beach isn't at all tropical, but turns out to be pretty great anyway. Have you ever had an image in your mind of how something was going to be, and then it was completely different? Did you like the way things turned out, or hate it?
Have you ever been to a wildlife rescue center? What kinds of animals did you see? Which ones did you like best?
- Author: Lynne Rae Perkins
- Illustrator: Lynne Rae Perkins
- Genre: Family Life
- Topics: Brothers and Sisters, Friendship, Ocean Creatures, Science and Nature
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Greenwillow
- Publication date: July 9, 2018
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 8 - 12
- Number of pages: 240
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
Themes & Topics
For kids who love books about family and animals
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.