While spending the summer with her new siblings and cousins at their grandmother's house by the ocean, Elizabeth begins to feel that she belongs to her adoptive family. Simultaneous.
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Gr 5-9-This book picks up the summer after the events of The Ocean Within (Milkweed, 1999). Elizabeth, 12, is now officially adopted into the lively, openly affectionate Sheridan family and is spending the summer with her two siblings and six cousins. She looks forward to long days at the beachfront home of strict but well-loved Grandma and demonstrating her new swimming skills. However, the eldest cousin, Adam, has lost two friends in a drunk-driving accident and has alienated himself from the family, and Grandma finds that her rules (complete with corporal punishment) do not provide clear-cut solutions to deal with the schism. And Elizabeth discovers that, despite her swimming lessons, she is still terrified to step into the ocean. When her youngest cousin almost drowns, she rescues him but then both of them avoid the water. They become involved in collecting water samples for an environmental activist determined to find and prosecute an ocean polluter. In helping in this effort, they learn about healing in nature and in themselves. The story is told with a fine-tuned empathy for the main characters, and Grandma's flawed but genuinely compassionate humanity is one of its major strengths. Elizabeth's thoughts, relayed in first-person italics, alternately enhance and distract from the flow of the third-person narrative. A lot of background information gets packed into the ending almost all at once, but the resolutions to the various story threads are realistically joyful and bittersweet.
Farida S. Dowler, formerly at Bellevue Regional Library, WA
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.From Booklist:
Gr. 5-7. This sequel to The Ocean Within (1999) lacks much of the raw power of the first book and spends perhaps too much time recapitulating events. Elizabeth, 12, looks forward to Grandma's beach house, where the nine Sheridan cousins spend their summers. She's been adopted for a year now, and fits awkwardly yet comfortably into the family's many rules, habits, and traditions. But the summer is not working out as she had hoped. She has learned to swim in a pool, but the ocean still fills her with a terror that she's afraid to express. What's more, her oldest cousin, Adam, who has been distant and confused since his two best friends died in a car accident, starts the summer by ditching his high-school graduation and missing a younger cousin's birthday. Adam soon spirals out of control, and even Grandma's tough and abiding love cannot find a way to ease and comfort him. There's more contrivance and less heartfelt emotion than in the previous book, but readers longing to know more about Elizabeth will find the answers here. GraceAnne DeCandido
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Book Description Milkweed Editions, 2001. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P111571316280
Book Description Milkweed Editions, 2001. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX1571316280