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Secret Sisters of the Salty Sea: 07/26/19

Secret Sisters of the Salty Sea

Secret Sisters of the Salty Sea by Lynne Rae Perkins is a middle grade novel about a family trip to the ocean. With the illustrations it's presented as fantasy but the narrative is grounded in reality. The flights into fancy are the result of the sisters' imaginations.

While the book goes in chronological order, each chapter is its own vignette. There's the drive to the ocean where they make plans. They hunt for periwinkles. They discover a crab. They explore.

In tone this book reminds me of the Penderwicks series by Jeanne Birdsall. I'm most reminded of the younger Penderwicks time in Maine in The Penderwicks at Point Mouette (2011).

Like the Penderwicks books, this one sits on road narrative spectrum. Specifically, this one is a CC3333. It's a tale of siblings to a rural place via a Blue Highway. Or in this case, sisters going on a beach holiday by way of a Blue Highway.

Although the sisters are at the beach with their parents, the entire focus of novel is from their point of view. The parents facilitate the travel and the adventures, but they don't participate in the narration — in the recounting of the adventures. Therefore, the travelers are siblings (CC). Sibling travelers tend to be at the fantasy end of the spectrum but the moments where the girls talk of mermaids or other adventures, are just them playing pretend.

The destination is a beach and a small beach town (33). From the way the girls (and their parents) stick to the beach. The beach appears to be in a secluded spot, or to be part of a small town or village.

The journey to the beach is covered in the first chapter. It involves a long trip at night through numerous small towns. The way the journey is described it doesn't give the impression of being an interstate (33).

Secret Sisters of the Salty Sea is an example of a realistic sibling road narrative. While the majority of the sibling narratives I've covered include an element of fantasy or science fiction, placement in the spectrum doesn't demand placement in a specific genre.

Five stars

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