WALK ACROSS THE SEA by Susan Fletcher


Age Range: 10 - 12
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Racism and her mother’s miscarriage bring an end to a happy chapter in the life of a California lighthouse-keeper’s daughter in this emotionally tumultuous novel, set in the 1880s. Until a group of townsfolk band together to drive the “celestials,” the small Chinese immigrant community, out of Crescent City, the only cloud in Eliza Jane’s sky is her goat Parthenia’s genius at escaping to munch on other people’s flowers. Despite her father’s orders to stay away from the “heathen,” however, she finds herself drawn to a talented young artist, and inadvertently becomes an angry, horrified witness to incidents of harassment that culminate in a nighttime mass kidnapping of Chinese women and children. Meanwhile, she is also wrestling with her religious faith after her mother loses a baby, and coming to discover that her father isn’t quite the pillar of strength she had always believed him to be. Drawing the forced removal from historical accounts, Fletcher enriches her tale’s setting with carefully researched detail about lighthouses and the families that kept them, and ultimately brings to her troubled protagonist both an epiphany that restores her respect for God and her father, and a new baby brother. An intense, meaty historical novel from the author of Shadow Spinner (1998). (Fiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-689-84133-7
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Atheneum
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 2001


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