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Children's Fiction New Experience

Sea Change

by (author) Frank Viva

Initial publish date
May 2016
New Experience, Friendship, Adolescence
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    May 2016
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 10 to 18
  • Grade: 5 to 12


One summer can change your whole life. As soon as school lets out, Eliot's parents send him to the very edge of the world: a fishing village in a remote part of Nova Scotia. And what does the small town of Point Aconi have to offer? Bugs, bullies and grumpy old men. But along the way, Eliot discovers much more - a hidden library, starry nights and a mysterious girl named Mary Beth.

Critically acclaimed author and artist Frank Viva (Outstanding in the Rain) brings us this warm, funny and innovatively designed coming-of-age story. See Point Aconi through Eliot's eyes, as he finds that this place he never wanted to visit is becoming a home he doesn't want to leave.

About the author

FRANK VIVA is managing director and founding partner of Viva & CO., an independent branding and design agency that has created award-winning work for companies such as Le Creuset, MoMA, and Butterfield & Robinson. He is a frequent cover artist for

The New Yorker

magazine and his first book,

Along a Long Road

, was a bestseller and a

New York Times

10 Best Illustrated Children’s Book selection. His fourth book,

Young Frank, Architect

, was the first picture book ever created for The Museum of Modern Art’s publications department and was translated into seven languages. He lives in Toronto with his family.

Frank Viva's profile page


  • Short-listed, Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz ChildrenÂ’s Book Awards
  • Nominated, Hackmatack ChildrenÂ’s Choice Book Award
  • Nominated, Red Maple Award

Editorial Reviews

One of TD Summer Reading Club's Top Summer Reads 2017
One of Publishers Weekly's Best Books for Summer 2016
One of New York Times' Editor's Choice 2016

"Sea Change is like a dip in cold Canadian waters: just step inside, and soon you're completely swept away, finding yourself overwhelmed and breathless, entranced by this whirlwind of a book. Bravo, Frank Viva. And glub, glub, glub." --Lemony Snicket

"Playful typography weaves the art and story together in unexpected ways .... The inventive visuals reward careful attention." --Kirkus Reviews

"Moving from picture books into fiction can be a stretch; Viva makes it look easy." --Starred Review, Publishers Weekly

“Viva’s transporting first novel (after picture books including Along a Long Road) weaves drawings and playful typography through the story of 12-year-old Eliot Dionisi. . . .” --Editor’s ChoiceNew York Times

"Viva's Sea Change is a magical book, a deft, understated chronicle of the moment a young boy passes from childhood into something altogether more mysterious .... Eliot is a skillfully drawn fictional creation: at times he is demanding and nearly unbearable, at others vulnerable and relatable, but always fundamentally human." Starred Review, Quill & Quire
"Viva’s bold, simple illustrations are whimsical and bring to life the story’s unique characters. The unconventional format of this funny, poignant coming-of-age story will appeal to fans of comics and graphic novels." --School Library Journal
"[Sea Change] is the novel equivalent of the best summer-vacation postcard a person could get." “--Starred Review, Shelf Awareness
".... a reading experience that is as fresh as it is moving." --Horn Book Magazine
“With Sea Change, a graphic novel in the truest sense, author and designer Frank Viva blurs the lines between written word and illustration .... it’s a new turn for a man whose creativity appears boundless. Words seemlessly transform into illustrations as they are read: sentences become fishing line floating in the sea; are poured into cups of tea or spit out like chewing tobacco; crystalize into a spider’s web; change into a weeping face; waft into the air like smoke; angle into a staircase; and, in one of the most affecting passages I’ve encountered in any book this year, become the stars in the night sky.” --Globe and Mail
"A quintessential summer and coming-of-age story, written with a glorious mix of restraint and hypberbole, humour and sorrow — enlivened by Viva’s drawings and playful designs." --Toronto Star
“Viva’s middle-grade debut has a warmly familiar premise — a boy’s expectations of a dreadful summer away from home are swept away by new experiences and friendships — and a singular structure. There are typographical innovations galore, including some lovely shape poems.” --New York Times’ Book Review Match Book Column

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