Wednesday, May 25, 2016
I'm so happy about that. So happy for this tribute to the sea, to storms, to the communities that form in the aftermath of catastrophe.
“A moving epic of a super storm and how it unravels the lives of those caught in the midst.”—VOYA: Voice of Youth Advocates, starred review
Kephart creates a moving epic of a super storm and how it unravels the lives of those caught in the midst. Anyone who has ever lived through a hurricane or any other life-changing event in which his or her home is totally destroyed will recognize the bleakness and struggle one must overcome to survive and rebuild. Seventeen-year-old Mira Banul lives with her mother, Mickey, and her brother, Jasper, on Haven, a six-mile long, half-mile wide stretch of barrier island in New Jersey. Jasper Lee suffers from Hunter Syndrome, a rare disease in which he is missing an enzyme. When the storm hits, Mira is alone while her mother and brother are on the mainland. Mira finds the strength to carry on, relying on strangers to help her survive. Mira finds hope in the face of tragedy and learns how to survive despite the odds against her.
Kephart writes in short, lyrical sentences similar to Patricia McCormick’s style in Sold (Hyperion, 2008/VOYA December 2007). Her words read like poetry, creating strong images. Many of the sentences can be interpreted on two levels. For example, in the discussion of how sand is formed, Jasper Lee says, “the heavier the wave, the more powerful the crystal,” which can be interpreted as an analogy for life. There is advice here for everyone, “first rule when you feel afraid is to act.” This book is a quick read, but the memories will linger with readers.