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NEVERSINK by Barry Wolverton


by Barry Wolverton & illustrated by Sam Nielson

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: March 27th, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-06-202791-7
Publisher: Walden Pond Press/HarperCollins

When his family and colony are threatened by usurping owls and an unpredictable sea goddess, a plucky puffin learns about injustice and leadership by embarking on a perilous “spirit journey.”

Lockley Puffin and his wife Lucy live in Auk’s Landing, on Neversink, an island in the Arctic Circle and an independent colony of Tytonia. Auks typically avoid making waves, and Lockely’s a bit of a troublemaker, hanging out with officious walrus Egbert, and Ruby, a sassy hummingbird. Trouble ensues when Egbert invites Tytonia’s owls to a party where Lucy serves delicious fish smidgens. Tytonia’s new king, Rozbell, a tiny, power-crazed owl, sees smidgens as a way to control Tytonia by imposing a tax on all fish the auks catch, to be paid with Lucy’s fish smidgens. The insatiable demand for smidgens triggers sea goddess Sedna’s wrath. She withholds the fish, jeopardizing Neversink’s survival. Forced to make some huge waves, Lockley undertakes a harrowing quest to appease Sedna. With history and myths reminiscent of Norse sagas, Neversink and its feathered denizens impart lessons in power, leadership and the role of “stories” in the guise of a fantasy adventure. Black-and-white illustrations highlight the avian theme.

An unexpected hero and his amusing, devoted helpers entertain and inspire. (map) (Animal fantasy. 8-12)