Cover image for Secret sisters of the salty sea / Lynne Rae Perkins.
Secret sisters of the salty sea / Lynne Rae Perkins.
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Greenwillow Books, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2018]

Physical Description:
232 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm
From Newbery Medalist Lynne Rae Perkins, this effervescent story introduces two sisters--Alix and Jools--and takes readers on an unforgettable journey to the beach. Raymie Nightingale will love this engaging family story. Alix and her sister, Jools, have never seen the ocean. When their parents pack them up for a week at the shore, Alix is nervous about leaving home, but excited, too. At the beach, the girls make friends, go exploring, and have adventures both big and small. They pick periwinkles, spot crabs, and discover that the beach is full of endless possibilities. As the week comes to an end, Alix is surprised to find she doesn't want to leave! Award-winning author Lynne Rae Perkins has beautifully crafted a genuine and engaging novel about sisters, family, and exploration. Features stunning pencil and ink drawings. A great read-aloud as well as a good choice for newly independent readers.


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PER Book Junior Collection
PER Book Junior Collection

On Order



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.

Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

Newbery Medalist Perkins's (Criss Cross) vividly captures the world through a child's eyes in this quiet novel chronicling Alix Treffrey's weeklong vacation on the beach with her parents and her "more mature" sister, Jools. In the first chapter, Perkins conveys the excitement and coziness of beginning a journey before dawn ("As the car began to move, she snuggled under the sleeping bag.... [Alix] pictured herself wearing her newer bathing suit, floating maturely on her boogie board in the turquoise water"). Each chapter that follows highlights a discovery or event that makes the trip memorable. Some incidents, such as temporarily getting separated from her parents at a crowded service plaza and having a giant june bug plant itself on her arm, aren't very pleasant, but most experiences-making a new friend, holding an injured falcon in her arms, finding sea glass on the beach-are wondrous reminders of how small miracles make life worth living. Perkins draws on all five senses to evoke nature's beauty and show the ebb and flow of Alix's emotions as she eagerly explores new territory. As in her previous novels, Perkins' sensitive spot art illuminates the characters' inner and outer worlds. Ages 8-12. (May) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Horn Book Review

Midway through this episodic tale of a family beach vacation, main character Alix and her mother visit a craft store. They are both charmed by the model train scenery, the tiny cows and trees. This scene, involving looking with great concentration and joy at something small, is emblematic of the story as a whole. In every episodea night swim, a June-bug attack, a beach-glass-collecting expedition, a visit to a raptor sanctuaryPerkins zooms in. Not only do we taste the salty crunch of deep-fried periwinkles and hear the specific sound of a flat tire but we get to know the characters in an intimate way. Look, said Mom pointing. Theres your dad. You know how I know its him?Because of how he walksIts a little bit bouncy. As if any minute, hes gong to run up the court and shoot a basket. Older sister Jools feels crabby and wallows in her issues, including recent complaints and long-ago grievances and annoying things that might happen in the future. Slightly odd words feel exactly right. The swelling sea rumples; the campfire flames wobble; caught in a crowd, the family shuffled in their huddle through the hubbub. Black-and-white illustrationsbeautifully composed, slightly mysterious, gently funnyadd to the intensity and authenticity. sarah ellis (c) Copyright 2018. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

New York Review of Books Review

THE OUTSIDER, by Stephen King. (Scribner, $30.) When police officers arrest a small-town English teacher and Little League coach for murder, the case looks watertight. But this isn't a police procedural, it's a Stephen King novel; so nothing, of course, is what it seems. OUR KIND OF CRUELTY, by Araminta Hall. (MCD/Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $26.) In this searing, chilling sliver of perfection about a toxic relationship, the man is the crazy psychopath - or is he? That doubt lingers all the way through the stunning final pages of a book that may well turn out to be the year's best thriller. SAVING CENTRAL PARK: A History and a Memoir, by Elizabeth Barlow Rogers. (Knopf, $30.) The inspiring story of how one woman, in the face of considerable resistance, created a partnership to privately augment the funding and management of Manhattan's beloved park, rescuing what had become "a ragged 843acre wasteland." ROBIN, by Dave Itzkoff. (Times/Holt, $30.) A generous, appreciative biography of Robin Williams by a New York Times culture reporter. The author, who had access to Williams and members of the comedian's family, is an unabashed fan but doesn't shy away from the abundant messiness in his subject's personal life. INSEPARABLE: The Original Siamese Twins and Their Rendezvous With American History, by Yunte Huang. (Liveright, $28.95.) In Huang's hands, the story of the conjoined twins Chang and Eng is as much an account of 19th-century American culture as a tale of exploited individuals who themselves became exploiters. SABRINA, by Nick Drnaso. (Drawn and Quarterly, $27.95.) This graphic novel is a Midwestern gothic tale for our times, recounting the story of a woman's disappearance and murder, seen through the eyes of her bereaved boyfriend as he watches the trolls and conspiracy theorists dissect her death online. It's a shattering work of art. SOME TRICK: Thirteen Stories, by Helen DeWitt. (New Directions, $22.95.) DeWitt's manic, brilliant new collection explores her interest in "fiction that shows the way mathematicians think." Populated by genW'ršíš? iuses and virtuosos, the stories are zanily cerebral " and proceed with fractal precision. PATRIOT NUMBER ONE: American Dreams in Chinatown, by Lauren Hilgers. (Crown, $27.) This deeply reported account tracks an immigrant couple's struggle to remake their lives in America while staying connected to their hometown in China. SECRET SISTERS OF THE SALTY SEA, by Lynne Rae Perkins. (Greenwillow, $16.99; ages 8 to 12.) An exquisite summer story about a girl's first beach vacation, in which she discovers the wonders of the ocean and shifts in sisterly bonds. The full reviews of these and other recent books are on the web: