Tuesday, January 3, 2017

When the Sea Turned to Silver by Grace Lin -- ESSENTIAL

Lin, Grace.  When the Sea Turned to Silver.  366 pages.  Little, Brown and Co., 2016.  $18.99.  Language: G; Sexual Content: G; Violence: PG.

Author/Illustrator Grace Lin has created a new magical masterpiece.  Pinmei lives with her grandmother on the mountain.  Her grandmother is the Storyteller, and Pinmei is quiet and shy.  Soldiers come to the mountain and the emperor takes her grandmother.  Pinmei decides she must rescue her grandmother and her friend Yishan offers to help.  They begin a journey to find the Luminous Stone that Lights the Night to trade with the emperor for her grandmother’s release.  Pinmei finds her voice and shares the stories that her grandmother has told her to people they meet.  Their adventures take them to the City of Bright Moonlight, the bottom of the sea, and at last the emperor’s great wall. 
Stories are seamlessly intertwined into the narrative and are clues to the exciting conclusion.  Pinmei grows from a shy character to a strong one.  The illustrations are beautiful.  There are many single-color illustrations at the beginning of the chapters and throughout the text.   These illustrations are expressive and interesting.  There are also full color and full page illustrations that are carefully detailed and help create the magical world where the story takes place.  Highly recommended.             
EL-ESSENTIAL.  Samantha Hastings, MA, MLS. 

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