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Reviewed by:
  • The Turning by Emily Whitman
  • Kate Quealy-Gainer, Assistant Editor
Whitman, Emily The Turning. Greenwillow/HarperCollins, 2018 [400p]
Trade ed. ISBN 978-0-06-265795-4 $16.99
E-book ed. ISBN 978-0-06-265797-8 $7.99
Reviewed from galleys R Gr. 4-6

Aran has waited eleven years, wondering when he will get his pelt like the rest of his selkie clan and be able to transform from human to seal form to join them in the open waters. When Moon Day passes with no pelt, Aran’s mother decides to head north to consult with the “wise ones,” leaving Aran with a kindly old woman. Aran is initially not at all happy about the arrangement, but soon he forms a close bond with Maggie and befriends a neighbor girl. When his mom returns with his pelt, Aran finds himself torn between his life on land and his life in the sea. There is a cozy predictability as Aran realizes he can belong to both families without losing either, and the tension leading up to that decision is just enough to be interesting but not harrowing in this quiet story. Whitman pulls in some extra magic from selkie lore as Aran’s friend’s grandfather regales him with stories of the legendary creatures, and readers familiar with maritime myths will find this a pleasing take on an old tale. [End Page 451]



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p. 451
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