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Sea Change

By: Frank Viva

Spending the summer in Point Aconi, Nova Scotia, feels like a punishment. But then Eliot earns his sea legs on Uncle Earl's boat, tastes delicious lobster, and meets mysterious, pretty Mary Beth. Three-color illustrations drawn in pencil and india ink and colored digitally.

ISBN: 9781935179924

JLG Release: Jul 2016


Sensitive Areas: Violence: Child Abuse
Topics: Friendship , Coming of age , Summer , Nova Scotia , Canada , Fishing , Lobster , Bullies

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Awards & Honors

Shelf Awareness 2016 Best Books of the Year, Middle Grade

Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, Booklist, The Horn Book Magazine, The Horn Book Guide^, Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly*, School Library Journal

School Library Journal

Twelve-year-old Eliot could not be less excited about being shipped off to Point Aconi, in Nova Scotia, where he will spend the summer helping his great-uncle Earl on a fishing boat. Even though he is quickly embraced by a small group of neighborhood kids, led by the intriguing Mary Beth, life in Point Aconi is worse than he imagined—which is Twelve-year-old Eliot could not be less excited about being shipped off to Point Aconi, in Nova Scotia, where he will spend the summer helping his great-uncle Earl on a fishing boat. Even though he is quickly embraced by a small group of neighborhood kids, led by the intriguing Mary Beth, life in Point Aconi is worse than he imagined—which is impressive, as a teacher formerly noted his “dark” imagination. Slowly, Eliot adjusts. He works hard, spends hours reading aloud from Earl’s extensive library, makes his uncle proud, and kisses Mary Beth. His summer is spent fishing, swimming, and exploring. Despite all the fun, Eliot realizes that life is far more complicated than he thought. He begins to understand the politics behind a strip-mining coal company looking to buy up the properties in Point Aconi. And when Mary Beth confides a secret to Eliot, one she begs him not to reveal, he has to make a hard choice. Though he loves his summer in Point Aconi and hopes to return, he begins to look forward to going back home, where he can just be a kid again. This is more of a highly illustrated novel than a typical graphic novel, and Viva’s bold, simple illustrations are whimsical and bring to life the story’s unique characters. Viva plays with text, too, sometimes placing it at a slant, piling it in a pyramid, or using it to create pictures. VERDICT The unconventional format of this funny, poignant coming-of-age story will appeal to fans of comics and graphic novels.—Amanda MacGregor, Great River Regional Library, Saint Cloud, MN

Horn Book

Twelve-year-old Eliot Dionisi’s parents send him to his great-uncle Earle’s in Point Aconi, Nova Scotia, for the summer. He has a series of experiences that, in typical coming-of-age-novel fashion, allow Eliot to grow and change into a self-described “whole other person” by story’s end. As the summer progresses, Eliot Twelve-year-old Eliot Dionisi’s parents send him to his great-uncle Earle’s in Point Aconi, Nova Scotia, for the summer. He has a series of experiences that, in typical coming-of-age-novel fashion, allow Eliot to grow and change into a self-described “whole other person” by story’s end. As the summer progresses, Eliot befriends the locals (including Timmy, a shy boy who stutters); encounters a bully; becomes aware of town politics (the avaricious Bushwhacker Coal Company wants to buy village land); and struggles with what to do upon learning that his new sweetheart, Mary Beth, is being physically abused by her father. Viva frequently incorporates humor, including a memorable scene in which the protagonist unknowingly urinates on his great-grandmother’s gravestone. The remote setting is intimately drawn, with distinct dialect reserved for residents (not all of whom are culturally sensitive: “Pa’s not gonna give a rat’s arse about your wop friend”) and plenty of introspection—especially aboard Uncle Earl’s fishing boat, the YNOT. With limited colors (blue, black, cream, and a vivid pink) Viva’s expressionistic illustrations, which are integral to the story and appear throughout as spot art and full pages, carry emotional heft. The words often appear as concrete poetry or undulate on the page, with text resembling stars in the sky, fishing lines, and facial expressions. While fans of Viva’s picture books (Along a Long Road; A Long Way Away, rev. 5/13) will recognize the artist’s sleek style, the mix of imagery, text, and design here offers a reading experience that is as fresh as it is moving. elisa gall

Book Details

ISBN

9781935179924

First Release

July 2016

Genre

Fic

Dewey Classification

F

Trim Size

7" x 10"

Page Count

120

Accelerated Reader

Level 4.7; Points: 4;

Scholastic Reading Counts

Level 5.5; Points: 7;

Lexile

N/A

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

TOON

Potentially Sensitive Areas

Violence: Child Abuse

Topics

Friendship, Coming of age, Summer, Nova Scotia, Canada, Fishing, Lobster, Bullies,

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