DRAWING THE OCEAN by Carolyn MacCullough


Age Range: 14 & up
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In lyrical, sweetly unhurried prose, MacCullough paints Sadie, a 16-year-old artist newly transplanted to the east coast from California. Sadie’s twin brother Ollie died when they were 12 and reappears to her on a regular basis; they have conversations. At her new school, Sadie wants to be normal. A sharp-edged but loyal friend comes along, attaching herself to Sadie and bringing along a small social group, including a gorgeous, magnetic boyfriend. Sadie sketches and paints constantly, both for herself (she always did) and because she promised Ollie she’d draw him the ocean. A tentative friendship with school outcast Ryan is vaguely hostile, but not in a problematic way. Sadie slowly navigates that friendship, forbidden at school, and hesitantly confronts her own desire to learn how to drive, prohibited by her frightened mother because Ollie died in a car accident. MacCullough’s subtle use of present tense and visually evocative writing create an eloquent portrait. (Fiction. YA)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2006
ISBN: 1-59643-092-3
Page count: 160pp
Publisher: Roaring Brook
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2006


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