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Beyond the Bright Sea

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  9,961 ratings  ·  1,721 reviews
Twelve-year-old Crow has lived her entire life on a tiny, isolated piece of the starkly beautiful Elizabeth Islands in Massachusetts. Abandoned and set adrift on a small boat when she was just hours old, Crow's only companions are Osh, the man who rescued and raised her, and Miss Maggie, their fierce and affectionate neighbor across the sandbar.

Crow has always been curious
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published May 2nd 2017 by Dutton Books for Young Readers
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Jody Given the time period of this book, I wondered if Osh was Armenian, fleeing from the Armenian Genocide and coming to Rhode Island. Then leaving RI for…moreGiven the time period of this book, I wondered if Osh was Armenian, fleeing from the Armenian Genocide and coming to Rhode Island. Then leaving RI for the Elizabeths after not liking the city and likely being an outcast there.(less)
JoJo Ames Lauren's first book was Wolf Hollow, which is also a wonderful story. This is her second book. There's no connection with regard to plot and character…moreLauren's first book was Wolf Hollow, which is also a wonderful story. This is her second book. There's no connection with regard to plot and characters....just the same exquisite writing. :)

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For the majority of my life, I never paid much attention to the word real.

I knew of The Velveteen Rabbit's famous line: What is real?

And I've known women throughout my life who have had nose jobs or breast implants and have been offended by people asking them if their alterations were “real.”

Prior to nine years ago, I had no attachment to the word real, nor was it a button pusher to me. But, nine years ago, we came home with a new baby daughter from China, and though we received hugs and smiles
Wendy Darling
3.5 stars A baby is set adrift in the Elizabeth Islands in the 1920s. Why? The answer is revealed slowly, and Crow isn't sure what her adoptive father knows about it. (view spoiler)

Luminous prose, quietly endearing characters, and sobering history. I loved so much of this beautiful middle grade book, and yet I'm mixed about one major subplot, much as I was with FOX HOLLOW. I think the story is engrossing enough--and frankly, mo
No author gets a free pass. Your last book have been a spot-on bit of brilliance, lighting up the literary landscape like a thousand Roman candles. Pfui. A writer is only as good as their latest book, as any jaded 10-year-old will tell you. And while I greatly enjoyed Lauren Wolk’s debut novel (and Newbery Honor winner) Wolf Hollow I also knew full well that the author originally intended that book to be a written work for adults. Beyond the Bright Sea, her next novel, is written specifically wi ...more
3.5 stars. Frustratingly we didn't enjoy most of the book as much as Wolf Hollow but at least the ending wasn't so devastatingly sad, this one felt as though it was written for children whereas Wolf Hollow felt like an adult read due to the really depressing end. In this story we end with some hope but as we thought might happen, this author decided that (view spoiler) ...more
Jan 29, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5... It is a book for ages 10+... I have had so much going on in life right now that I don't think I enjoyed it as much as I would have if I had more down time. But if I put myself as a, let's say, 12 yr old and read this I think it's a cute and quick, interesting story.

The story is set in Massachusetts off the Elizabeth Islands. Crow was sent adrift in a small boat as a couple hours born baby and found by Osh. Miss Maggie is the only neighbor who isn't scared of her touching or sneezing. The
The Captain
Feb 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
Ahoy there me mateys! The title and the cover for this one is what drew me in. I just love the image of the feather blending into the waves. When I found out this was a historical mystery tale set in the 1920s I knew I had to read it.

Twelve year-old Crow doesn’t know anything about her past. She washed ashore in a small boat on a tiny island when she was only a few hours old. She was raised by an older man named Osh and his neighbor Maggie. Crow used to consider her life to be pretty much perfec

The relationships between Crow, Osh, and Miss Maggie are sweet, tangible, and realistic, and the reader can’t help but feel like they’re a part of this odd little family. And the historical mystery, inspired by the real leper colony of Penikese is definitely interesting. Though there is a certain amount of telling rather than showing in the course of the story, which leaves the moments of danger and high-emotion somewhat subdued.

The telling of the story, combined with a somewhat rush
Kate Olson
Jul 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade
An excellent new middle grade classic that I would highly recommend as a replacement for ISLAND OF THE BLUE DOLPHINS in all classrooms (so much has been written about the portrayal of American Indians in IOTBD - if you still use that book in the classroom, seek out a modern analysis before reading again) - BEYOND THE BRIGHT SEA retains much of the adventure, island life and abandoned child storylines that draw readers to that old story.

Admittedly, this book was a rather slow start for me as I r
Ms. Yingling
Mar 23, 2017 rated it liked it
Library copy

Bought for 8th grade Battle of the Books
Abby Johnson
What a treasure of a book. Gorgeous lines of prose are woven into this historical novel. It maybe is a tiny bit overwritten, as I kept pausing to notice these beautiful turns of phrase. The Northeast island setting is so fully realized that it's almost another character in the book. With a plucky heroine, a strong sense of place, interesting characters, and a little bit of a mystery, there's something for many readers here.

Hand this to readers who like:

Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Chol
Barb Middleton
Dec 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
This writer's use of figurative language, word choice, and character development is the strength of this book. The plot was a bit predictable in spots and the main character's dialogue is with adults only. The protagonist has no other children her age and she sounds very mature. The foreshadowing allows the adult reader to figure the plot out perhaps quicker than a younger reader. I thought the start was slow and then picked up. The characters self-preservation was missing in some tense moments ...more
Scott Fillner
Feb 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"Happiness is a matter of being where---and who---we want to be." Even though this quote was specifically found in the A Note About this Book section...the message rang true in all the characters Lauren created in this amazing story.

Beyond the Bright Sea is another breathtaking historical fiction story written by Lauren Wolk. Just like her last novel Wolf Hollow, Lauren is able to take readers on an amazing journey. Her writing is beautifully mezmoring! She has a remarkable gift of being able to
Jessica Mae
Jul 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This one is a winner. 😊 Lauren Wolk is an expert storyteller that reeled me in from the first few pages. That's saying a lot, since this was kind of a filler book for me, in between some others I was anxious to get to.

"Beyond the Bright Sea" is a simple, beautiful story of a girl who floated onto an island as a newborn and works to find out where she came from. Not the most original concept, I'll admit, but it still held my interest. It was the historical context that gave it the interesting tw
Abby Cooper
Jan 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Another absolutely stunning book by Lauren Wolk. WOW.
Katie Fitzgerald
Once an infant in a skiff washed up on the shore of a tiny piece of land among the Elizabeth Islands off the coast of Massachusetts. Osh, the only man who lived there, found the baby, named her Crow, and began to care for her with the help of Miss Maggie, his neighbor on the nearby island of Cuttyhunk. Now it is 1925, and twelve-year-old Crow is happy with her little family, but she wishes she knew more about where she came from. The Cuttyhunk locals are convinced she came from Penikese, an isla ...more
Chloe Allysen
Apr 27, 2021 rated it it was ok
I really enjoyed this book- it was nice, the ending kind of made it flat for me, hence, 2 stars.
But overall do not regret reading it (and that cover! So pretty!)

Characters: they were a nice group to see in your minds eye, but I never really felt like they became fully real as other characters have in other books. Crow was the most authentic character, and as the narrator, she’s most important.

Plot: I’m really unsure on what the plot really was. Some things were just declared they weren’t going
April Moody
May 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book. It's my favorite book in 2017 thus far. So beautifully written... I loved Lauren Wolk's writing in Wolf Hollow- and her lovely writing style was just as touching in this story.

Strapped inside a small boat, a new born baby girl washed up on the shore of one of the Elizabeth Islands off of the coast of Massachusetts in 1925. She is taken in by a man she later calls Osh who promptly named her Crow. He and Miss Maggie from the nearby Island Chuttyhunk care for her and
Michele Knott
I feel like one of the signs of a fantastic writer is someone who can slip into a new story and make it different from what they've written before but still contain the writing magic.
Lauren Wolk has done that in her next book BEYOND THE BRIGHT SEA. I imagine it would be difficult to follow a Newbery Honor book, but this next one certainly holds its own.
This next book has its similarities to WOLF HOLLOW - historical fiction, a main character who is able to see beyond the initial view of those a
Kerry Johnson
May 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really, really loved this startlingly beautiful middle grade story. Though a little slow in the beginning, I truly enjoyed each moment, each scene with Crow, Osh, Maggie, and Mouse.

A gorgeous portrayal of family and the questions that haunt us, but also sometimes bring us back to ourselves, Beyond the Bright Sea settles the reader right smack onto Cuttyhunk Island with the characters. And the author's writing & descriptions? So stark and unique and lovely I'd stop reading and reread the lines
Mar 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Impressive! I'm glad to see that this won the Scott O'Dell award for historical fiction, but I'm wondering why it didn't receive recognition from the Newbery reviewers. As a child, I'm sure I would have loved Crow's story. As an adult, the characters, the setting, and the slice of history captured my attention and kept me reading longer than I should have. Most everything I want to say would be a spoiler, so I'm going to end here ... almost.

A 4-page Author's Note explains what's fact and what's
Brenda Kahn
Another beautifully layered, complex and totally new story from Wolk. I adored Wolf Hollow and this one as well. Crow is a wonderfully memorable character as are her caregivers, Osh and Miss Maggie. The setting is vividly evoked and the suspense was high. Highly recommended.
Apr 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A beautifully written story with wonderful characters and an intriguing plot.
Melissa Veras
Nov 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
=D This book made me so happy.
Coming off the heels of her last novel, her stunning Wolf Hollow, Lauren Wolk tells the tale of a 12 year old girl named Crow. It's the 1920's and baby Crow is sent adrift aboard a small boat where a man named Osh finds her. While being raised on the New England island of Cuttyhunk, Crow befriends her neighbor, Miss Maggie. All Crow has ever wanted was to know was who she was, where she came from, who her family was, and why they abandoned her. Wolk has a way of filling each page with a poetic f ...more
Jan 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
After reading this lovely book, I had to pause and wonder exactly what it was about it that makes me feel the immediacy of the emotion and action of this plot, more so than most adult novels. (For this one is clearly designed for (I would guess) middle school readers).

This also caused me to reflect on what leads me to consider a particular book especially profound it its effect and meaning. I had to conclude (somewhat to my chagrin), that the more interiority there is to the novel, the more intr
The Reading Countess
Wow. Just wow.

Okay, Lauren Wolk. You win. Wolf Hollow as a gorgeously dripping freshman debut? Check. Beyond the Bright Sea, your sophomore book, is (in my humble opinion) even better than your first? Check. Never one to "write down" to her readers, every word is meant to be savored. Every line to linger and ruminate over. Any and all writers and want-to-be-writers should take a note. How to develop sympathetic characters=check. How to create a community with equal parts eccentricity and bondin
This is a sweet story of finding one's identity - and the real strength of is the three main characters Crow, Osh and Miss Maggie. It's set in the mid 1920's so technically it's historical. But they live on an island off the coast of Cape Cod Massachusetts, so really the time period is incidental. What is reflective of the time period is the attitudes toward a former leper colony. While I wish the author would have gone it a tiny smidge more detail about the disease, that detail wasn't really mi ...more
Sue Read
Oct 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: novels
The writing in this book is absolutely exquisite and from the very first introduction by 'Crow', our main character, I was hooked. Lauren Wolk's choice of words and the way she crafts beautiful sentences to describe setting or explain emotions or situations are truly inspired.

It's a story about identity, family and belonging, woven within an adventure that takes our characters from their home on an island across the sea to neighbouring islands and the main land. There's prejudice, greed, love,
Jun 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
In my opinion, Lauren Wolk is a fine, fine writer. Wolf Hollow remains one of my favorite books ever. I was afraid this one wouldn't measure up. I shouldn't have been. It's beautifully written, hard to put down, examines important issues, and has well-developed characters that I cared a great deal about. ...more
Heidi Burkhart
Jan 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful story about what it means to be a family. The writing is perhaps even more remarkable than the story. Wonderful book.

I think it is a major contender for the Newbery this year (2018).
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Mock Newbery 2022: December Read - Beyond the Bright Sea 12 130 Jan 24, 2018 08:31AM  

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Lauren Wolk is an award-winning poet and author of the bestselling Newbery Honor–winning Wolf Hollow, described by the New York Times Book Review as "full of grace and stark, brutal beauty." She was born in Baltimore and has since lived in California, Rhode Island, Minnesota, Canada, and Ohio. She now lives with her family on Cape Cod. ...more

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“Don't you understand, Crow?" he said, his voice so sad, so tender, that I couldn't breathe. "You're the one worth finding.” 6 likes
“I'm just looking at you. Exactly as you are right now. And not because you'll change, though you will of course. Treasure or not. But because if I could have built a human being, I would have built you. Just so" -Osh” 5 likes
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