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The Sea in Winter (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

I wish I'd had this to read when I was 12. It took me on an emotional journey I was not prepared for, with characters that are three-dimensional, relatable, and so warm. When we meet Maisie, she's already submerged in the mire of emotional and mental pain. She has no friends outside of her ballet classes, which she can no longer attend due to a terrible knee injury, she can't focus in school, and her grades are suffering. She's keeping secrets from a loving family that doesn't seem to understand what she's going through. She's hurting... and still putting one foot in front of the other. This book is about finding strength in coming to terms with change. It's about asking for help. It's about love and understanding. It's about loneliness and other hard emotions I think adults forget children can go through as well. And it's a beautiful, character-driven, hopeful revelation of a story. 

— From Karen's Picks


In this evocative and heartwarming novel for readers who loved The Thing About Jellyfish, the author of I Can Make This Promise tells the story of a Native American girl struggling to find her joy again.

It’s been a hard year for Maisie Cannon, ever since she hurt her leg and could not keep up with her ballet training and auditions.

Her blended family is loving and supportive, but Maisie knows that they just can’t understand how hopeless she feels. With everything she’s dealing with, Maisie is not excited for their family midwinter road trip along the coast, near the Makah community where her mother grew up.

But soon, Maisie’s anxieties and dark moods start to hurt as much as the pain in her knee. How can she keep pretending to be strong when on the inside she feels as roiling and cold as the ocean?

About the Author

Christine Day (Upper Skagit) is the author of The Sea in Winter and I Can Make This Promise, which was a best book of the year from Kirkus, School Library Journal, NPR, and the Chicago Public Library as well as an American Indian Youth Literature Award Honor Book and a Charlotte Huck Award Honor Book.You can visit her online at

Praise For…

"This thoughtful, honest sophomore novel invites readers to reckon with life's messy complexities while reassuring them that every ending brings the seeds of new beginnings."
— Shelf Awareness

This meditative story about a middle school girl’s courageous journey toward healing follows a family as they navigate the complexities of supporting a tween’s life-changing injury. In her second novel, Day offers a heartening glimpse into the immense patience and love required to endure limitations, build strength, and repair damage. An insightful, stirring read about healing and resilience. 
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Most of Maisie’s tale is compressed into a period of several days over winter break, and as readers share her inner monologue, they’re keenly aware that failure to follow professional advice and accept the support of teachers, family, and friends (who have demonstrably not deserted her) is turning her into her own worst enemy. Day lifts the narrative beyond the tribulations of another angsty tween heroine by offering an eminently reasonable path forward, paved with physical healing, emotional therapy, and reconnection with friends."
— Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

Product Details
ISBN: 9780062872043
ISBN-10: 0062872044
Publisher: Heartdrum
Publication Date: January 5th, 2021
Pages: 272
Language: English