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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
The Girl from the Sea offers the opportunity to discuss coming out and other issues of gender, sex, and identity.
Families and friends are sometimes more accepting of gender issues than one might expect. First loves can change over time.
Positive Role Models
Morgan wants to express her true feelings about Keltie, but she's afraid that she'll be shunned by her friends and family. She plans to go off to college before revealing her secret. Keltie is open about who she is and what she wants. Morgan's family and friends prove to be more understanding than she could predict.
The Girl from the Sea takes place on a Canadian island, and its cast of characters is fairly diverse. The main character, Morgan Khan, is of Asian descent, and her friends include a Black girl. No one seems upset that Morgan is attracted to girls.
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Violence & Scariness
Keltie nearly causes a shipwreck and causes girl to fall overboard.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Morgan and Keltie develop a romantic relationship that includes kissing and hand-holding.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Girl from the Sea is a fantasy-based graphic novel by Molly Knox Ostertag, author of The Witch Boy. Fifteen-year-old Morgan is rescued by a shape-shifting selkie (half fish, half human) named Keltie, who appears in human guise to proclaim her love for her. The two develop a romantic relationship that includes kissing and hand-holding. There's no swearing or substances.
Is It Any Good?
Selkies are an important aspect of Celtic folklore, and this swoony romance between a human girl and an aquatic shape-shifter gives the myth a modern twist. Author/illustrator Molly Knox Ostertag doesn't waste much time wondering will-they-or-won't-they? In The Girl from the Sea, she has Morgan and Keltie develop a romantic relationship in a short amount of time, and readers will enjoy how they communicate with each other and grow emotionally closer. The artwork is open and accessible, and Ostertag steers away from meanness and snark, instead presenting characters who support each other in their decisions about life and love. The Girl from the Sea is a perfect summertime treat -- heartfelt and touched by magic.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.