A Crack in the Sea

G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers, January 2017

No one comes to the Second World on purpose. The doorway between worlds opens only when least expected. The Raft King is desperate to change that by finding the doorway that will finally take him and the people of Raftworld back home. To do it, he needs Pip, a young boy with an incredible gift—he can speak to fish; and the Raft King is not above kidnapping to get what he wants. Pip’s sister Kinchen, though, is determined to rescue her brother and foil the Raft King’s plans.

This is but the first of three extraordinary stories that collide on the high seas of the Second World. The second story takes us back to the beginning: Venus and Swimmer are twins captured aboard a slave ship bound for Jamaica in 1781. They save themselves and others from a life of enslavement with a risky, magical plan—one that leads them from the shark-infested waters of the first world to the second. Pip and Kinchen will hear all about them before their own story is said and done. So will Thanh and his sister Sang, who we meet in 1978 on a small boat as they try to escape post-war Vietnam. But after a storm and a pirate attack, they’re not sure they’ll ever see shore again. What brings these three sets of siblings together on an adventure of a lifetime is a little magic, helpful sea monsters and that very special portal, A Crack in the Sea.

Praise for A Crack in the Sea

A Midwest Connections Pick for January 2017.

Winter 2016-17 Kids’ Indie Next Pick.

 

★ “Through the captivating interwoven tales of these three sibling pairs—and with assistance from Shimizu’s powerful ink illustrations—Bouwman crafts a moving narrative about family, magic, morality, the power of storytelling, and the cyclical nature of history.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review

“A Crack in the Sea is a moving work of conscience and a numinously magical journey. Trust this book.”—William Alexander, National Book Award–winning author of Goblin Secrets

“This novel touches on sensitive and tragic moments in history and gives them fantastical remediation for a provocative, immersive read.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Bouwman weaves together these stories of freedom and escape with a deep sense of respect and emotion, bringing the reader directly into each family’s search for a safety that transcends both time and space.”—Booklist 

“Bouwman ably weaves these threads together into a curious, haunting whole that references oppression, family, magic, and a human desperation for safety that transcends time and place.”—BCCB

“Fantasy fans will be drawn into this story and find it hard to put down.”—School Library Connection

“Fans of Grace Lin will love this wholly original book that reads like a fairy tale. A moving and thought-provoking choice for library collections.”—School Library Journal

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