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Secret Sisters of the Salty Sea

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Newbery Medalist Lynne Rae Perkins introduces two irresistible sisters—Alix and Jools—and takes readers on an unforgettable vacation to the beach. This joyful celebration of sisters, family, friendship, and the ocean is illustrated in black-and-white throughout. The Wall Street Journal said, “Ocean meets sky meets two young girls in Lynne Rae Perkins’s affectionate chapter Newbery Medalist Lynne Rae Perkins introduces two irresistible sisters—Alix and Jools—and takes readers on an unforgettable vacation to the beach. This joyful celebration of sisters, family, friendship, and the ocean is illustrated in black-and-white throughout. The Wall Street Journal said, “Ocean meets sky meets two young girls in Lynne Rae Perkins’s affectionate chapter book. . . . Illustrations by the author add wit and tenderness to this sunny summer story.” For fans of Kate DiCamillo and Rebecca Stead. Alix and her older sister, Jools, have never been to the ocean. When their parents pack them up to spend a week by the shore, Alix is nervous about leaving home—but excited, too. At the beach, the sisters make friends, go exploring, and have adventures big and small. To Alix’s surprise, as the week comes to an end, she finds she doesn’t want to leave! Each chapter contains its own miniature discovery—from picking periwinkles, meeting a crab, and making sandcastles, to exploring the nearby town. Award-winning author Lynne Rae Perkins has beautifully crafted a genuine and engaging novel about sisters, family, and exploration. A great read-aloud, as well as a good choice for newly independent readers. Booklist said, “Ordinary pleasures, in the hands of a writer so skilled, are elevated.” Features black and white art throughout.


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Newbery Medalist Lynne Rae Perkins introduces two irresistible sisters—Alix and Jools—and takes readers on an unforgettable vacation to the beach. This joyful celebration of sisters, family, friendship, and the ocean is illustrated in black-and-white throughout. The Wall Street Journal said, “Ocean meets sky meets two young girls in Lynne Rae Perkins’s affectionate chapter Newbery Medalist Lynne Rae Perkins introduces two irresistible sisters—Alix and Jools—and takes readers on an unforgettable vacation to the beach. This joyful celebration of sisters, family, friendship, and the ocean is illustrated in black-and-white throughout. The Wall Street Journal said, “Ocean meets sky meets two young girls in Lynne Rae Perkins’s affectionate chapter book. . . . Illustrations by the author add wit and tenderness to this sunny summer story.” For fans of Kate DiCamillo and Rebecca Stead. Alix and her older sister, Jools, have never been to the ocean. When their parents pack them up to spend a week by the shore, Alix is nervous about leaving home—but excited, too. At the beach, the sisters make friends, go exploring, and have adventures big and small. To Alix’s surprise, as the week comes to an end, she finds she doesn’t want to leave! Each chapter contains its own miniature discovery—from picking periwinkles, meeting a crab, and making sandcastles, to exploring the nearby town. Award-winning author Lynne Rae Perkins has beautifully crafted a genuine and engaging novel about sisters, family, and exploration. A great read-aloud, as well as a good choice for newly independent readers. Booklist said, “Ordinary pleasures, in the hands of a writer so skilled, are elevated.” Features black and white art throughout.

30 review for Secret Sisters of the Salty Sea

  1. 5 out of 5

    Manybooks

    In many ways and although nothing much ever really happens, Lynne Rae Perkins' Secret Sisters of the Salty Sea is a perfectly lovely little story of a family's (the Treffreys, father, mother and two young daughters) weeklong oceanside and beachside holiday (with no real conflicts and problematic issues emerging, just delightfully presented and depicted episodes of the family's vacation time fun, mostly on the beach of course, but they also visit a wildlife centre where one of the sisters, Alix, In many ways and although nothing much ever really happens, Lynne Rae Perkins' Secret Sisters of the Salty Sea is a perfectly lovely little story of a family's (the Treffreys, father, mother and two young daughters) weeklong oceanside and beachside holiday (with no real conflicts and problematic issues emerging, just delightfully presented and depicted episodes of the family's vacation time fun, mostly on the beach of course, but they also visit a wildlife centre where one of the sisters, Alix, actually gets to release a rehabilitated Peregrine Falcone back into the wild). However, and as much as I have indeed enjoyed Secret Sisters of the Salty Sea, I did and continue to feel that Lynne Rae Perkins' writing style has the unfortunate tendency to feel somewhat distancing a times, in so far that while I was reading Secret Sisters of the Salty Sea (and even considering my appreciation and sweet enjoyment of the family's week long ocean-themed holiday), I definitely and yes sadly sometimes have felt more like an interested but dispassionate observer, analyst or newspaper reporter looking in than actually being emotionally part of and involved in and with Alix and Jools and their family's depicted vacation experiences (but of course, upon reflection, that feeling of distancing might also very well stem from the fact that my own relationship with both my siblings and my parents has never really been all that close both emotionally and physically, and that therefore, especially Alix's gymnastics moves like her cartwheels, handsprings and such have almost felt a trifle annoying to and for me, simply because I have actually never learned how to do a cartwheel and that my lack of coordination has always been a huge barrier between me and the rest of my family, with especially my siblings and my father always being both annoyed at and even much embarrassed by my lack of balance and the fact that I was often very awkward and indeed also slowed the family down when we went skiing or hiking). And I guess that if truth be told, part of my mild annoyance with regard to Secret Sisters of the Salty Sea and Lynne Rae Perkins' presented narrative (with her text) is simply and frustratingly that I have read this novel with not only appreciative eyes but also with very much personal envy and more than a bit of sadness. For the Treffrey family is so very delightfully functional, so massively supportive of one another in every way and so into enjoying their vacation with absolutely no strings attached, with no criticisms and snarky comments, that for one I have found Secret Sisters of the Salty Sea almost a bit too good to be true and that for two, well, I have also found this story almost too painfully positive, as Secret Sisters of the Salty Sea certainly has truly reminded me of how much of a black sheep I have always been in and with my family and that my parents and my siblings were never all that understanding and certainly, during vacation times (which usually involved active and sport-filled holidays, basically what my parents and my brother and sister desired but which often were at best difficult for me) that I was constantly being confronted by and with my lack of coordination (and indeed often blamed for supposedly being reticent, lazy and even that somehow I was trying to actively sabotage the family, that I really should know how to ski and ride a pony gracefully, and that my lack of coordination was somehow all and only my fault and easily overcome, and when I read about how loving, how supportive and with ample words of praise the mother and father of Sisters of the Salty Sea are towards their two daughters and how close and for the most part delightfully positive Alix's and Jools' relationship towards each other is, I do have to admit that this almost makes me cry and feel rather majorly jealous and envious).

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kathryn

    Wonderful! What delightful summer reading experience. Some families really are happy and harmonious (well, for the most part) and it is nice to see one featured in a novel now and then. And, for all the sunshine (literal and figurative), the book really sensitively deals with several "problems" (that, to adult eyes, are "no big deal" but actually to children are Very Important) such as missing your friend and pet when you travel, comparing yourself to your sibling, making a mistake and feeling r Wonderful! What delightful summer reading experience. Some families really are happy and harmonious (well, for the most part) and it is nice to see one featured in a novel now and then. And, for all the sunshine (literal and figurative), the book really sensitively deals with several "problems" (that, to adult eyes, are "no big deal" but actually to children are Very Important) such as missing your friend and pet when you travel, comparing yourself to your sibling, making a mistake and feeling remorse over it (the scene with the breakfast cake!) and finding the courage to try something new (like handling the rescue hawk). I felt like I was right there along on summer vacation with the family, loved the writing style, loved the characters. It was touching without being overly sentimental, humorous, and felt very real while also feeling like an escape. I loved it!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

    Very short, illustrated. Read for Children's Books 'summer' theme month, where I said: Well, I really liked it. The 'voice' worked for me. The title doesn't particularly, but it's catchy, so ok. I loved that there was no drama. It even friendlier and gentler than a Ramona or Henry Huggins book. Some families are truly happy, and I think it's grand that there's a book that shows us that. All that joy and optimism means there's not a lot to say about the story, though. It's just about the mini adve Very short, illustrated. Read for Children's Books 'summer' theme month, where I said: Well, I really liked it. The 'voice' worked for me. The title doesn't particularly, but it's catchy, so ok. I loved that there was no drama. It even friendlier and gentler than a Ramona or Henry Huggins book. Some families are truly happy, and I think it's grand that there's a book that shows us that. All that joy and optimism means there's not a lot to say about the story, though. It's just about the mini adventures, like learning that a current can make you lose your place along the sand, and going for a long walk with your dad, and visiting a raptor rehab center, and playing sandcastle games with other children you meet on the beach... and learning more about your family, yourself, and your place in the world. I recommend it and will consider more by the author.

  4. 5 out of 5

    DaNae

    Confession after listening to 3/4 of the audio, I bagged it. I felt like I was dealing with an overly 'cute' kid who new of its cuteness and was continually shouting, "Look what I can do, look at me."

  5. 5 out of 5

    Megan

    This book made ME salty... salty that I don’t have any upcoming beach trips. Seriously, though, it is a charming story of a family’s weeklong stay at a beach house. It made me seriously nostalgic for those magical summer days when I was a kid and the summer stretched endlessly ahead with possibility and even the ordinary became extraordinary.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Annie

    This is a perfect example of a sweet, summery book. Light, but not fluffy. A family on vacation—a week at the beach, and the first time Alix and her sister Jools have seen the ocean. It’s not heavy on plot, but the girls both see and do new things, make new friends, learn about themselves and the world. It’s lovely and gentle, with some surprises and some great funny moments. The writing is thoughtful and pretty without preciousness. You may come away from this one with a little bit of a beach v This is a perfect example of a sweet, summery book. Light, but not fluffy. A family on vacation—a week at the beach, and the first time Alix and her sister Jools have seen the ocean. It’s not heavy on plot, but the girls both see and do new things, make new friends, learn about themselves and the world. It’s lovely and gentle, with some surprises and some great funny moments. The writing is thoughtful and pretty without preciousness. You may come away from this one with a little bit of a beach vacation contact high. Side note, and this says more about me than the book: The parents in this book are wonderful, and I don’t know quite what to make of them. They seem like they could be real people—they’re funny, and they’ve got consistent personalities, so they didn’t seem flat to me. But I kept reading the book and waiting for them to make a move that showed that they weren’t perfect parents, and it NEVER HAPPENED. Ok, maybe they should have taken their car in to be checked before going on a long drive, and maybe they didn’t stick to their budget at the casino. And I know they’re fictional. But they always did and said the right things for their kids. They never lost their senses of humor, they were kind and patient and never cranky. They were like Zen ninja parents (I know that’s not a thing). This is not a complaint. It just made me want to ask them (again, I know they’re fictional) “HOW ARE YOU SO GOOD ALL THE TIME? Also, please teach me.” As I said: more about me than the book.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Josiah

    No author does more in less spectacular fashion than Lynne Rae Perkins. Criss Cross, for which she won the 2006 Newbery Medal, earned the award almost entirely through the dizzying rise and fall of its language, an exhilarating ride on the back of a wild wind. The book gave me fresh eyes to view our world as an infinitude of tiny priceless moments that occur once and never again, not in the exact same way. It put me in awe of life, and Lynne Rae Perkins uses that style of language for all her no No author does more in less spectacular fashion than Lynne Rae Perkins. Criss Cross, for which she won the 2006 Newbery Medal, earned the award almost entirely through the dizzying rise and fall of its language, an exhilarating ride on the back of a wild wind. The book gave me fresh eyes to view our world as an infinitude of tiny priceless moments that occur once and never again, not in the exact same way. It put me in awe of life, and Lynne Rae Perkins uses that style of language for all her novels, if not always as effectively as in Criss Cross. As Secret Sisters of the Salty Sea opens, the Treffrey family is leaving at dawn for their beach vacation. Alix, her older sister Jools, and their parents look forward to spending time at the ocean, and they settle in contentedly for the long drive to their destination. Secret Sisters of the Salty Sea isn't a novel of action or big drama. It's simply about a family finding enjoyment at the ocean. The Treffreys have arranged to board with Mrs. Kerr, whose young granddaughter visits often and stays the night. Nessa and Alix become fast friends, and have fun every day Nessa is there. There are no palm trees and the water isn't turquoise as Alix envisioned, but Kerr's Kabana feels like home. A June bug landing on Alix's arm freaks her out at one point, but Mrs. Kerr helps gently remove the insect, which harmlessly flies away. The Treffreys have so much fun in the water their first full day that they drift with the current and temporarily get lost. Alix, Jools, and Nessa build an intricate sand castle, but a couple of boys not looking where they're going damage part of the wall. The boys—James and Roby—are here on vacation with their families and met at the hotel, and they occasionally join Alix, Jools, and Nessa in their fun at the beach. Alix and her father enjoy a long walk one day, roughly ten miles up and down the shoreline. There's a lot to see and talk about at the ocean's edge. Alix and Jools join their parents in harvesting periwinkles on the beach, but don't want to eat any when they're told what periwinkles are. Sea snails! Who wants to eat that? While there, the girls run into Roby and his mother. Her hobby is turning sea glass into jewelry. Alix and Jools help look for sea glass, and Alix decides to make a necklace for each of her new friends at the beach. The Treffreys take a day and ride bikes to PineyWild, a wildlife preserve away from the ocean. At the raptor center, a conservationist named Sara treats wounded birds of prey. Alix is thrilled when Sara swaddles an injured falcon in cloth and lets her hold it. The last day of vacation Alix returns to the raptor center to give Sara a sea glass necklace she made specially for her, and Alix and Jools spend a fun, cozy evening with Nessa at Kerr's Kabana while Mr. and Mrs. Treffrey go out to dinner. The drive home isn't without drama, but the vacation has treated all the Treffreys well. Getting back to normal life will be nice, but Alix and Jools are already dreaming of next summer. Can real life be an adventure, or are only vacations special like that? It seems to Alix that even her hometown of Shembleton could be filled with little excitements. Life is waiting wherever you are, no exotic travel destination necessary. What will you do with it? Lynne Rae Perkins's style of finding beauty in the mundane is much like that of Kevin Henkes; they both rely on nothing but the rhythms of real life to produce a quality story. Their creative use of language is also similar. I'd rate Secret Sisters of the Salty Sea two and a half stars, and if you want to be injected with the mood of a pleasant, languorous vacation, this is the book to do it. Lynne Rae Perkins has a gift for reminding us to enjoy life to the max.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Martha

    The beginning of summer is a perfect time of year for reading Secret Sisters of the Salty Sea. Alix and her older sister Jools, are so excited to go to the beach with their family for the very first time. Alix imagines a tropical beach with a turquoise ocean, palm trees and white sandy beaches. It turns out to have grayish green water with no palm trees. However the sisters soon become delighted with the thrills of a great vacation, new friends to build sand castles with, walks on the beach, the The beginning of summer is a perfect time of year for reading Secret Sisters of the Salty Sea. Alix and her older sister Jools, are so excited to go to the beach with their family for the very first time. Alix imagines a tropical beach with a turquoise ocean, palm trees and white sandy beaches. It turns out to have grayish green water with no palm trees. However the sisters soon become delighted with the thrills of a great vacation, new friends to build sand castles with, walks on the beach, the discovery of real horse shoe crabs, and unfortunately a shoreline filled with jelly fish. Younger sister Alix is sensitive and often needs reassurance. It is refreshing to have parents portrayed as supportive and thoughtful. Their Dad and Mom both spend alone time with each daughter taking beach walks, or exploring a lighthouse, and an especially fun treat involving sea glass and a trip to purchase supplies for turning the new found sea glass into art, for lucky Alix. Besides going to the beach their parents take them to fascinating locations such as a raptor center. The eloquently described natural settings and unpredictable reactions of the sisters are so believable and convincing, it gives the reader a taste of the discovery of treasures to be found in nature shared with a loving family.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Martha Topol

    Alix is with her parents and older sister driving for a week’s vacation to the ocean, her first time ever. With her playful imagination, Alix envisions palm trees, turquoise water, and sunsets, but when things don’t turn out as she hopes- it’s too cold for palm trees, their ocean view faces east- that’s ok too. This book is refreshing in it’s easy going nature. Even when Alix has a June beetle chomp onto her arm or when a walk on the beach with dad becomes overlong, everyone remains flexible and Alix is with her parents and older sister driving for a week’s vacation to the ocean, her first time ever. With her playful imagination, Alix envisions palm trees, turquoise water, and sunsets, but when things don’t turn out as she hopes- it’s too cold for palm trees, their ocean view faces east- that’s ok too. This book is refreshing in it’s easy going nature. Even when Alix has a June beetle chomp onto her arm or when a walk on the beach with dad becomes overlong, everyone remains flexible and positive. The parents are supportive and engaged while the sister relationship is both realistic and idealistic; they don’t fight, they adjust. This is a book where sisters allow for their differences whether working as a team or following their separate paths, and where a new friend is made through cartwheels and handsprings. This is a book where a nightmare (BIG bug) can morph into a perfect moment with mom or where a sand castle, destroyed by a boy whose potato chips litter the masterpiece like fireworks, becomes a “bobbing, churning mantel of birds”, the most amazing thing ever seen. Experiences are fully realized not through grand conflict but rather through the characters’ willingness to completely engage in the moments at hand. The characters’ trust in possibilities allow for those possibilities to evolve such as when a walk through a cranberry bog turns into an unexpected and meaningful visit to a raptor rehabilitation facility. Through her usual flare with language and detailed observations laced with humor and wit, Perkins deftly paints precise pictures in her reader’s minds. A complimentary treat are Perkins black and white illustrations which enliven key moments throughout. This is a perfect book for independent readers but would also make a great read-aloud either in an elementary classroom or snuggled up at home. As a school librarian and lifelong reader of children’s books, I highly recommend this exemplary book. Buy this book and head to the beach!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

    Very cute and realistic. It truly captured the spirit, actions, and internal dialogue of young girls.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Leonard Kim

    Listened to the audiobook. 99% of this is a well-written, realistic middle-grade book about a girl’s beach vacation with her family. Some sections in the latter part of the book were a bit inexplicable to me in terms of consistency of POV and tone, but I’d have to go back and see it in print to make sure. Also, as good as this book is, it doesn’t shine the way the Penderwicks books do (i.e. Point Mouette), and I am trying to figure out why. At the moment the best I can come up with is this book Listened to the audiobook. 99% of this is a well-written, realistic middle-grade book about a girl’s beach vacation with her family. Some sections in the latter part of the book were a bit inexplicable to me in terms of consistency of POV and tone, but I’d have to go back and see it in print to make sure. Also, as good as this book is, it doesn’t shine the way the Penderwicks books do (i.e. Point Mouette), and I am trying to figure out why. At the moment the best I can come up with is this book is too realistic (despite some aforementioned oddities) where the Penderwicks books offer literary escapism. But on the other hand, something like Rylant’s Rosetown, which I’ve also recently read, and also quite good, goes too far and struck me as too idealized to get swallowed in. So I still can’t really explain the indelibility of the Penderwicks. A couple years ago, when Penderwicks in Spring came out, I compared it to the Harry Potter books and The Westing Game—that analogy is still probably better than any direct explication.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Katie Fitzgerald

    Much like this author's All Alone in the Universe and Criss Cross, this is a gentle, descriptive, and introspective novel decorated with the author's own black-and-white drawings. It describes in wonderful vivid detail the excitement Alix and Jools, who are sisters, feel about going on vacation to the beach. Though not much happens, this is the kind of book I liked to read as a child: quiet, gentle, filled with everyday happenings and not much in the way of conflict. I think it would be especial Much like this author's All Alone in the Universe and Criss Cross, this is a gentle, descriptive, and introspective novel decorated with the author's own black-and-white drawings. It describes in wonderful vivid detail the excitement Alix and Jools, who are sisters, feel about going on vacation to the beach. Though not much happens, this is the kind of book I liked to read as a child: quiet, gentle, filled with everyday happenings and not much in the way of conflict. I think it would be especially appealing to kids who have never been to the beach, but who want to have the experience vicariously, or to those who have been to the beach and loved it, and who want to read about an experience that mirrors their own. Despite its length, it does skew toward the younger end of the middle grade spectrum content-wise. An eight-year-old who is a strong reader is likely to be the best audience.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Lynn

    A family with two young girls goes on vacation, spending a week on the ocean. No huge dramas, no life-threatening crises, no shattering issues. This is a sweet, affirming, heart-warming celebration of small moments. Feeling the ocean waves for the first time, walking the beach, sand castles with different kinds of bucket mixtures, imaginative play, a new friend, horseshoe crabs and learning to be brave. I adored this book! It is a balm for battered souls. Gentle, enchanting and lovely. This would A family with two young girls goes on vacation, spending a week on the ocean. No huge dramas, no life-threatening crises, no shattering issues. This is a sweet, affirming, heart-warming celebration of small moments. Feeling the ocean waves for the first time, walking the beach, sand castles with different kinds of bucket mixtures, imaginative play, a new friend, horseshoe crabs and learning to be brave. I adored this book! It is a balm for battered souls. Gentle, enchanting and lovely. This would make a lovely read aloud.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Mrs. Shaffer

    Grades 2-5, and/or readaloud? This is a quiet chapter book of small moments that gently explore family dynamics and, to a lesser extent, issues of class/socioeconomic status. I read this right after a rollicking MG Adventure-Mystery where lots happens on every page and as a result I felt a little bored through the first few chapters, but I’m so glad I stuck with this because it really grew on me. The plot/structure (a white family’s modest week-long beach vacation in a rented house) helps to cul Grades 2-5, and/or readaloud? This is a quiet chapter book of small moments that gently explore family dynamics and, to a lesser extent, issues of class/socioeconomic status. I read this right after a rollicking MG Adventure-Mystery where lots happens on every page and as a result I felt a little bored through the first few chapters, but I’m so glad I stuck with this because it really grew on me. The plot/structure (a white family’s modest week-long beach vacation in a rented house) helps to cultivate an unplugged, throwback vibe, and the big sister/little sister relationship was very very good, and dare I say kinda Ramona and Beezus-y? The ways in which elements of class awareness are woven through the chapters really worked for me, and I’d like to think that this book will serve well in window/mirror/door capacity depending on the book’s readers. For lots of kids, a vacation like this is beyond their family’s reach, and yet for others who’ve experienced over-the-top all-inclusive Caribbean beach resorts (and I’ve served as school librarian to kids at both ends of the spectrum) this will perhaps offer perspective and a chance for gratitude. Regardless of socioeconomic status, there’s lots to relate to here with regards to everyday life, family relationships, and appreciation of the natural beauty of the world. Given the author’s previous Newbery gold, and the high literary quality, I wouldn’t be surprised if this garnered some attention from award committees.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Leah

    This was a cute, funny story. I like that this was about family and a family vacation. Also, I like that this took place during the summer and at a beach. The characters were nice, good people.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Misti

    Jooles, Alix, and their parents go on vacation at the beach. Did this book even have a plot? Not really. An average family goes on a beach vacation, they do inexpensive touristy things, they go home. I can see child readers who don’t mind a simple plot but want characters they can empathize with enjoying this book, especially if those readers are dreaming of a beach vacation. But I kept waiting for some sort of driving plot line, and there just isn’t one here. Pleasant enough, but meandering.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    Summary (amazon.com) Alix Treffrey is spending a week at the seashore with her family, a place she and her sister Jools have never been. Each chapter covers a new day and new experiences: discovering the ocean, boogie boarding, meeting new friends, and building sand castles. The girls' personalities emerge in the telling. Younger Alix is imaginative and adventurous, doing things like holding a peregrine falcon at the raptor center, while cautious, serious Jools holds back. Told in a light, breezy Summary (amazon.com) Alix Treffrey is spending a week at the seashore with her family, a place she and her sister Jools have never been. Each chapter covers a new day and new experiences: discovering the ocean, boogie boarding, meeting new friends, and building sand castles. The girls' personalities emerge in the telling. Younger Alix is imaginative and adventurous, doing things like holding a peregrine falcon at the raptor center, while cautious, serious Jools holds back. Told in a light, breezy style with rich but accessible language and touches of humor, this is a quiet read, but there is enough action and character development to create empathy and hold the reader's interest. Comments (mine) In this charming little book ordinary pleasures, in the hands of a skilled writer such as Perkins are elevated. Each chapter is its own small treasure depicting a wonderful summer vacation at the beach. Simple but appealing black-and-white illustrations, also by Perkins, scattered throughout provide visual context for the setting. At the back of the book there are instructions for making a sea glass (or stone) necklace, and in her author's note, Perkins gives us information on Wings of Wonder, a rapture sanctuary and rehab center that she based on the PineyWild raptor center in the book. It always pays to read the stuff in the back of books! The layout and style of the book suggests that it is for younger readers (amazon’s listing is 8-12 years) but Perkin’s upgraded language and vivid imagery give it an elevated feel. This would be a great read aloud book. I really enjoyed this book and it brought back pleasant memories of my own family’s summer vacation trips with my parents and older sister. I am highly recommending Secret Sisters of the Salty Sea. It is a book with a positive attitude, a wonderful setting, well-drawn characters and above average writing. It could be the perfect summer read, or just a book to read at any time or place. Best for girls grades 3 and up. No bad language or situations.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen

    Vacationing at the beach with her mother, father, and older sister Jools, Alix finds a friend and has surprising adventures including holding an injured falcon and eating periwinkles. This is not "effervescent" as the blurb says, but it is certainly charming in its quiet way. It would be a good read aloud and a good read for an early able reader -- one that enjoyed Henkes The Year of Billy Miller. There is a lot of description, which makes it a bit slow but will help a child who has never been t Vacationing at the beach with her mother, father, and older sister Jools, Alix finds a friend and has surprising adventures including holding an injured falcon and eating periwinkles. This is not "effervescent" as the blurb says, but it is certainly charming in its quiet way. It would be a good read aloud and a good read for an early able reader -- one that enjoyed Henkes The Year of Billy Miller. There is a lot of description, which makes it a bit slow but will help a child who has never been to the beach and appeal to one who has had a similar vacation. There are also appealing "adventures" including investigating horseshoe crabs, finding sea stars, building sand castles and making sea glass necklaces.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Christine Turner

    Book Hunter: All formats available. :) Longer than an early chapter book (232 page), but it includes illustrations This joyful celebration of sisters, family, friendship, and the ocean is illustrated in black-and-white throughout. Alix and her older sister, Jools, have never been to the ocean. When their parents pack them up to spend a week by the shore, Alix is nervous about leaving home but excited, too. At the beach, the sisters make friends, go exploring, and have adventures big and small. To Book Hunter: All formats available. :) Longer than an early chapter book (232 page), but it includes illustrations This joyful celebration of sisters, family, friendship, and the ocean is illustrated in black-and-white throughout. Alix and her older sister, Jools, have never been to the ocean. When their parents pack them up to spend a week by the shore, Alix is nervous about leaving home but excited, too. At the beach, the sisters make friends, go exploring, and have adventures big and small. To Alix's surprise, as the week comes to an end, she finds she doesn't want to leave! Each chapter contains its own miniature discovery--from picking periwinkles, meeting a crab, and making sandcastles, to exploring the nearby town. Lynne Rae Perkins has beautifully crafted a genuine and engaging novel about sisters, family, and exploration; a great read-aloud, as well as a good choice for independent readers. Subject: Sisters -- Juvenile fiction. Families -- Juvenile fiction. Beaches -- Juvenile fiction. Vacations -- Juvenile fiction. Friendship -- Juvenile fiction.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    All of Perkins' books have a certain leisurely quality to them, but this one is downright languid. It's the story of a family taking a vacation to the beach for a week to hang out doing not much of anything. The long car ride there, sitting and playing in the sand, taking long, slow walks and bike rides, having simple conversations. All the more credit to Perkins that none of this ever gets the least bit boring. It's all about finding joy in the small things, both mundane and slightly unexpected All of Perkins' books have a certain leisurely quality to them, but this one is downright languid. It's the story of a family taking a vacation to the beach for a week to hang out doing not much of anything. The long car ride there, sitting and playing in the sand, taking long, slow walks and bike rides, having simple conversations. All the more credit to Perkins that none of this ever gets the least bit boring. It's all about finding joy in the small things, both mundane and slightly unexpected. It's quiet, but fully immersive and pleasurable. A nice, relaxing escape. By this point, Alix and Jools did not expect a lot from PineyWild. It was just going to be a walk. A boring walk through deserted places. The good part about that was how, when you were desperate, little things could seem interesting. Like how the heat made a shimmery place in the air. Or how ants were building giant sand hills in the cracks of the pavement.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Alexa Hamilton

    What a sweet summer story of Alix and Jools at the beach, meeting new people, doing new things, having new experiences. It's lovely and full of nice parents, good friends, nice neighbors, good dogs, really everything you would want in a nice summer story with some nice things about how to handle stress and disappointment and siblings in the sweetest way. I wish all beach trips were like this one. There is one odd spot in the beginning where the sisters do not follow instructions about the ocean a What a sweet summer story of Alix and Jools at the beach, meeting new people, doing new things, having new experiences. It's lovely and full of nice parents, good friends, nice neighbors, good dogs, really everything you would want in a nice summer story with some nice things about how to handle stress and disappointment and siblings in the sweetest way. I wish all beach trips were like this one. There is one odd spot in the beginning where the sisters do not follow instructions about the ocean and Alix gets sucked under and pulled out by her parents. There is no discussion of it with the parents, they just go ahead and swim with the kids. That is the only thing that felt weird to me, because ocean safety is really important and basically ignored here.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Meredith

    I liked this so much more than I thought I would. Nothing much really happens, and spending a week at the beach (what state? I couldn't figure it out. It drove me crazy. Maine?) in a rented house is a foreign concept to some of my students. And they may see it as "girly." But I loved Perkins' style ... it was almost dreamlike. p. 222: "You never knew what amazing thing would happen next, that was for sure. Alix wondered if that might be true in Shembleton, too. If it could be true in everyday lif I liked this so much more than I thought I would. Nothing much really happens, and spending a week at the beach (what state? I couldn't figure it out. It drove me crazy. Maine?) in a rented house is a foreign concept to some of my students. And they may see it as "girly." But I loved Perkins' style ... it was almost dreamlike. p. 222: "You never knew what amazing thing would happen next, that was for sure. Alix wondered if that might be true in Shembleton, too. If it could be true in everyday life, when you weren't on vacation. She felt that it could." I'm going to try and hold on to that when the school year starts ...

  23. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    This quiet and thoughtful trip to the beach with two sisters was just what I needed this week, and would be a good recommendation for kids at the younger end of middle-grade who read well enough but aren't looking for a lot of peril or drama. It's sweet but not saccharine, and has a lot of nice little observations about the way kids think and relate to one another, forming easy vacation friendships and patiently bearing with their parents' insistence on taking them on side trips to Educational P This quiet and thoughtful trip to the beach with two sisters was just what I needed this week, and would be a good recommendation for kids at the younger end of middle-grade who read well enough but aren't looking for a lot of peril or drama. It's sweet but not saccharine, and has a lot of nice little observations about the way kids think and relate to one another, forming easy vacation friendships and patiently bearing with their parents' insistence on taking them on side trips to Educational Places where they don't expect to have much fun (but end up a bit surprised by what they end up seeing there, naturally). Man, I want to go to the beach now. NOW.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Marianne

    This is just the sweetest summertime read. Perkins really captures the language and thought processes of the 8-12 year old group. Both sisters have unique qualities which are acknowledged and affirmed by their parents. The seaside setting is written with such exquisite attention to detail. I felt as if the author could have been writing about my personal experiences renting a cottage for a week at the beach. I will be recommending this to many readers this summer! P. S. The author’s illustration This is just the sweetest summertime read. Perkins really captures the language and thought processes of the 8-12 year old group. Both sisters have unique qualities which are acknowledged and affirmed by their parents. The seaside setting is written with such exquisite attention to detail. I felt as if the author could have been writing about my personal experiences renting a cottage for a week at the beach. I will be recommending this to many readers this summer! P. S. The author’s illustrations are truly delightful!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ames Public Library Youth Services

    This book is like the perfect shore vacation. Nothing much happens, but so much happens! Alix and her big sister Jools are headed off to the ocean for the first time. They experience all sorts of things, from long beach walks to bike rides to making some vacation friends. The writing in this book has beautiful descriptions of every day life. Perkins also does a great job of making the characters feel real and developed. Alix and Jools both felt like kids I would have known or been when I was youn This book is like the perfect shore vacation. Nothing much happens, but so much happens! Alix and her big sister Jools are headed off to the ocean for the first time. They experience all sorts of things, from long beach walks to bike rides to making some vacation friends. The writing in this book has beautiful descriptions of every day life. Perkins also does a great job of making the characters feel real and developed. Alix and Jools both felt like kids I would have known or been when I was younger. A gentle and realistic read that is still very interesting! -dmz

  26. 5 out of 5

    Susan Dove Lempke

    Perkins turns each day of a vacation at the shore into a series of memorable vignettes, all grounded in loving family relationships. The main character, Alix, has a lively curiosity and enthusiasm, and her experiences are so vividly realized that the reader feels like they are there along with the family on a trip to the shore. There's plenty of room at the end of the vacation for new stories about Alix and her quietly observant older sister Jools.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kay Carman

    Cute new first chapter that's a perfect summer read for a fourth grade girl. Alix, Jools and their parents are making their first ever trip to the beach and Alix thinks she knows what it will be like. Turns out it's not at all like what she envisioned, but turns out to be even better. Sweet stories about making new friends, even if you know they won't be in your life forever, family love, lots of info on science-related topics, and praises of the beauties of nature.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jean

    Perkins lulls us into all the quiet, wonderous details of a young girl's experiences on a trip to the sea with her loving family. A cosy, kind, beautiful, slow story, adorned with gleeful, wry, adorable illustrations. As I said about Cross Cross, Perkins' writing "especially speaks to poetic souls who remember the singularly clumsy, magical, transformative years of budding into being..." I adore her style.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jody Lewandowski

    Engaging is a great way to describe this story of two sisters, their family, and the new friends they make on vacation at the seashore. I wanted to keep reading to find out what new adventure they'd experience next. None of the conflict was too stressful, and there were plenty of moments I just wanted to squeeze the characters with warmth and the joy of life. This story doesn't move quickly, but for the gentle reader, a gentle story.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sadie

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. 3 1/2 stars. I really liked the book overall. It was really funny. Alix and Jools were funny and I liked how she was trying to act grown up. I liked how Alix kept sending thought messages to Rose and Trevor and how at the end of the book Alix sent a thought message to Rose and Trevor and then it showed Rose asking Trevor "was that you?" Overall I liked the book and would recommend it to a lot of people.

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