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Young, Adrienne. The Girl the Sea Gave Back.

Young, Adrienne. The Girl the Sea Gave Back. Wednesday Books, September 2019. 352p. $18.99. 978-1250168481.

4Q * 4P * S

This epic adventure begins with a grieving mother burying her dead child at sea with full Viking ceremony. But Tova was not meant to die early--she washes up on a different island to forecast the future by throwing the stones for a new clan. Ancient rivalries between warring tribes are coming to a head, and the Svell clan is divided between leaders. Do they go to war or attempt to maintain peace? Halvard does not want to be the new leader of the Nadhir. He is too young and inexperienced. But Tova and Halvard must lead their respective clans towards a dangerous future that may wipe out their entire people.

Told in alternating chapters and occasional jumps in time for Tova and Halvard, this novel immerses readers into Nordic culture and mythology. Vivid descriptions of dress, food, and beliefs round out the Nordic world building. Mystery surrounds Tova's background and her connection to casting the stones-a mystery that heightens the urgency with which Tova must make her life decisions. Battle scenes are interspersed with scheming, lending a driving menace to the narrative which will make readers breathlessly turn pages to see how it all ends. Secondary characters are well-written and fleshed out. A fun, larger-than-life tale that is impossible to put down. --Kristy Rademacher.


5Q Hard to imagine it being better written

4Q Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses.

3Q Readable, without serious defects.

2Q Better editing or work by the author might have warranted a 3Q.

1Q Hard to understand how it got published, except in relation to its P rating (and not even then sometimes).


5P Every YA (who reads) was dying to read it yesterday.

4P Broad general or genre YA appeal.

3P Will appeal with pushing.

2P For the YA reader with a special interest in the subject.

IP NoYA will read unless forced to for assignments.


M Middle School (defined as grades 6-8).

J Junior High (defined as grades 7-9).

S Senior High (defined as grades 10-12).

A/YA Adult-marketed book recommended for YAs.

NA New Adult (defined as college-age).

R Reluctant readers (defined as particularly suited for reluctant readers).

Highlighted Reviews

(G) Graphic Novel Format

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Article Details
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Author:Rademacher, Kristy
Publication:Voice of Youth Advocates
Date:Aug 1, 2019
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