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SEA OF TEARS by Floella Benjamin

SEA OF TEARS

By Floella Benjamin

Age Range: 11 - 14

Pub Date: June 1st, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-84780-058-9
Publisher: Frances Lincoln

Can a British teen overcome her bitterness at leaving London when her family moves to Barbados?

Evidently not. Jasmine, almost 13, is furious that her protective parents didn’t consult her about their decision to leave the dangerous environment of South London and moved to Barbados. Even though her father was a born "Bajan," all of the family meets resentment from the locals: her mother at her job at a bank; her father from the undermining construction workers he oversees; and Jasmine from the kids at school who label her “English.” In her bullheaded determination to get back to England and her friends, 4,000 miles away, Jasmine steals a 40-foot speedboat (she has no experience with them), causes a fight at school, and almost sneaks aboard a cargo ship sailing to England. Adding to the convoluted plot, a corrupt businessman threatens to buy the generations-old house where Jasmine’s Grannie lives, and a local fisherman’s son befriends her. British terms may perplex American readers: stroppy, people-carrier, cool box. Despite dabs of intrigue and romance, all of the plot developments are far too convenient, and Jasmine’s turn-around attitude at the end is unbelievable.

An implausible novel not worth the sea salt of the title, despite the Caribbean setting and nod to island life. (Fiction. 11-14)