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This stunning middle grade historical fantasy adventure is a companion to the critically acclaimed A Crack in the Sea.
Putnam, the future king of Raftworld, wants more than anything to prove himself. When the water in the Second World starts to become salty and his father won't do anything about it, Putnam sees his chance. He steals a boat and sneaks off toward the source of the salty water. He doesn't know he has a stowaway onboard, an island girl named Artie.
Artie isn't trying to save the world, she's just trying to save herself. On the run from an abusive stepfather, Artie just wants a place to call home. Putnam isn't the partner she would have chosen, but as the two face uncertainty and danger in their shared adventure, an extraordinary friendship forms.
Meanwhile, more than a hundred years in the past, Rayel is also on the run from Raftworld, escaping an arranged marriage she discovers is really a plot to kill her father. She'd planned to be gone just long enough to foil the plot, but once at sea and sailing ever southward, Rayel discovers she has an astonishing magical power that leads her to a new home and a sadness so deep it infects the world.
Told in alternating perspectives with Putnam and Artie traveling further and further into the uncharted southern sea--and Rayel, the key to the saltwater mystery, sailing the same sea in her own time--Putnam and Artie must put aside their differences and figure out why the sea is salty before it's too late.
About the Author
H.M. Bouwman is the author of The Remarkable & Very True Story of Lucy & Snowcap (Marshall Cavendish, 2008) and A Crack in the Sea (Putnam, 2017). An associate professor of English at the University of St. Thomas, she lives in St. Paul, Minnesota, with her two sons.
Praise for A Tear in the Ocean:
“In the companion to A Crack in the Sea (2017), Bouwman offers stories of loss, hope, perseverance.… masterfully infus[ing] old fairy tales and legends into her alternate-universe adventure, meticulously weaving times and storylines into a riveting plot....that will have readers reflecting on their own experiences of grief, longing, regret, survival, and overcoming.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Bouwman elegantly twists and twirls the two narrations, finally bringing them together in…an engaging and original coming-of-age story with an unpredictable and adventurous plot, sure to captivate middle-grade and middle-school fantasy buffs.” —Horn Book Magazine
“Bouwman’s new novel is an imaginative companion to her widely praised “A Crack in the Sea”…[with] Yuko Shimizu’s lively illustrations…[is] fast-paced, interesting, and thoughtful.” —Pioneer Press
“A Tear in the Ocean is a classic fairy tale, a quest story, grappling with darkness and a journey of discovery. But Bouwman turns it into something quieter and deeper…Yuko Shimizu’s illustrations of the novel’s multiracial characters add to the story’s emotional resonance.” —Star Tribune
Praise for A Crack in the Sea:
Winter 2016-2017 Kids’ Indie Next Pick A Midwest Connections Pick for January 2017 A Maine Student Book Award 2018-2019 Reading List Pick for Grades 4-6 and 4-8 A Sunshine State Young Readers Award Book 2018-2019 List Pick for Grades 6-8
★ “Through the captivating interwoven tales of these three sibling pairs—and with assistance from Shimizu’s powerful ink illustrations—Bouwman crafts a moving narrative about family, magic, morality, the power of storytelling, and the cyclical nature of history.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
“This novel touches on sensitive and tragic moments in history and gives them fantastical remediation for a provocative, immersive read.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Fans of Grace Lin will love this wholly original book that reads like a fairy tale. A moving and thought-provoking choice for library collections.” —School Library Journal
“A Crack in the Sea is a moving work of conscience and a numinously magical journey. Trust this book.”—William Alexander, National Book Award–winning author of Goblin Secrets “Bouwman weaves together these stories of freedom and escape with a deep sense of respect and emotion, bringing the reader directly into each family’s search for a safety that transcends both time and space.” —Booklist
“Bouwman ably weaves these threads together into a curious, haunting wholethat references oppression, family, magic, and a human desperation for safety that transcends time and place. . . . Detailed black and white illustrations invite contemplation and work well to highlight key moments in the novel, adding artistic flair to the already lyrical story.” —BCCB
“Fantasy fans will be drawn into this story and find it hard to put down.” —School Library Connection
“[C]onstantly engaging and enlightening.” —BookPage
“[T]his book will captivate readers who like their fantasy spiced with real-life drama.” —Common Sense Media
“This complex, compelling, and thoughtful novel begins in 1978 on Tathenn, a fantastical island world. . . . Bouwman has done her research well . . . keeping her young characters’ journeys—physical and emotional—front and center. Their tenderness, fierceness, bravery, thoughtfulness, and goodness highlight themes of family, leadership, and telling of history. . . . Shimizu’s vivid interspersed black-and-white illustrations . . . add to the drama of the storytelling in this original and engrossing book.” —The Horn Book