Shortlisted for the Canadian Library Association's Book of the Year for Children Award
Becca has often gone with her parents to visit Gran at her rustic cabin by the sea. But this year Becca’s mother is expecting a baby, and Becca visits her grandmother on her own. The prospect of spending time at Gran’s — with her peculiar plumbing and ridiculous Scrabble rules — is hardly appealing.
Then, on her very first night, Becca finds an oyster full of pearls. One pearl for every adventure to come?
As her mother’s pregnancy progresses, Becca returns to the island again and again. And through a busy parade of visiting relatives — some welcome, some not — she faces the cacophony of the annual herring run in a leaky dinghy, is kissed by a seal, scales a cliff, sails a boat for the first time and goes skinny-dipping in a sea of luminescence. And by the time her parents arrive with the new baby, she realizes that adventures, and even friends to share them with, may have been right under her nose the whole time.
Deirdre Baker has taught children's literature throughout Canada and the US, and currently teaches in the English department at the University of Toronto. She is the co-author (with Ken Setterington) of A Guide to Canadian Children's Books and is the author of various reviews and articles on children’s literature. Deirdre lives in Toronto, Ontario, but spends her summers on Hornby Island, the setting for Becca at Sea.
To call Becca at Sea a rite-of-passage novel is to diminish its subtlety. It is really a much richer creature than that, a beautifully paced, perfectly pitched narrative in the voice of a girl caught in the eddy between babyhood and teenage-hood, one that delineates the subtle ripening of self in the midst of fully fleshed family members and friends.
Her dialogue is true-to-life, witty, and intelligent...With a lovingly depicted island setting that readers will yearn to visit, this funny, endearing book should find a wide audience.
Baker captures the fun as well as frustration of one girl’s winter, spring and summer of wonder and growth on a glorious northwest coast island.
Baker's dialogue is true-to-life, witty, and intelligent, and the setting is lovingly depicted. This funny, endearing book should find a wide audience.
Becca at Sea is a charming little story, beautifully written. Some of the passages are almost lyrical. The novel embodies innocence, understanding, compassion, morality, and humour. The scenes are skillfully drawn, and Becca's family is a real joy.
This wonderful novel is reminiscent of Lucy Maud Montgomery at her finest - episodic yet energetic, and rich in brilliant characterization and incident. Baker's characters leap off the page with dialogue that is both weird and believable.
...easy-to-read...readers will enjoy reading about Becca and her adventures. Recommended.
...a fun, old-fashioned family story...