A Crack in the Sea

by H. M. Bouwman

Other authorsYuko Shimizu (Illustrator)
Paperback, 2019





Puffin Books (2019), Edition: Reprint, 384 pages


"Pip, a young boy who can speak to fish, and his sister Kinchen set off on a great adventure, joined by twins with magical powers, refugees fleeing post-war Vietnam, and some helpful sea monsters"--

User reviews

LibraryThing member melaniehope
This was such an incredible and original story. Perfect for middle school and up. The story begins in the second world. Pip is a young boy with a gift for being able to talk to fish. Kinchen is his older sister. When Pip is kidnapped by the Raft King, Kinchen along with another young girl begin a search for Pip. We learn that there is a first world (the one we live in) but at certain times when there is a storm or maelstrom, a door will open up in the ocean that leads to the second world.

What was so great about the book was that it was not always told in perfect order. Some chapters are stories of the past that explain how things came to be. The author also weaves in real stories of history and then transforms them in the second world with magic.
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LibraryThing member JanesList
Sigh. Ok, so, my main problem is that this is a book about nonwhite people written by someone who is white, and I kinda felt that. The world building and characters were definitely interesting, although I wasn't completely sure what the ultimate plot was about. I was initially really happy to discover a YA book with nonwhite characters, and the wonderful illustrations made that clear, even if you'd breezed over the descriptions. And I was over-the-moon to have a character who was face-blind. But the afterward talked about how this book was based on historical events (about enslaved Africans and Vietnamese refugees) and how maybe if we could envision something better happening - albeit only through magic and a gate to another world - we could help make a better world now (no idea how). Although I enjoyed reading (although was slightly puzzled by) this book, in the end it seemed like this was a white person's desire to give - almost as a gift - a better outcome for nonwhite people suffering horrific events in history.… (more)


Original language


Physical description

384 p.; 5.13 inches


0399545212 / 9780399545214


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