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A Friendly Town That's Almost Always by the Ocean!
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A Friendly Town That's Almost Always by the Ocean!

(Secrets of Topsea)

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  83 ratings  ·  34 reviews
Welcome to Topsea, the strangest place you'll ever visit. In this town, the coves are bottomless and the pier has no end in sight. There's a high tide and a low tide... and a vanishing tide. Dogs are a myth, but mermaids are totally real. And seaweed is the main ingredient in every meal-watch out, it might just start chewing you back!

New kid Davy definitely thinks Topsea i
...more
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published April 17th 2018 by Disney-Hyperion
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Kara
Apr 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-releases
This was absolutely adorable. Review coming tomorrow because I'm on the blog tour.
Pop Bop
Dec 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
Practically Perfect Middle Grade Bizarro

It's very hard to find a good bizarro middle grade book. There are silly books, and wacky books, and nutsy books, and, or course, farty and poopy books, but good bizarro is rare. By "bizarro" I mean deadpan, tongue in cheek, low key, understated, unpredictable inside/out books. And that's what you get here.

And it's a singular and unapologetically odd book. The premise, though, is straightforward, which is the best way to set up a bizarro book. Davy and his
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Lexie
Nov 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-in-series
This was simply one of the most charming books I've read in a while. At first it felt very absurd, but I realized something - it felt like how a kid might view the world.

It reminds me of stories my dad says I told as a kid, or stories my (7 year old) niece tells about her day or how some of the girls in her girl scout troop explain the world as they understand it.

It was also surprisingly touching, considering throughout Davy finds it hard to adjust to his new home, not just because it's so diff
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Sharon Tyler
Jun 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
A Friendly Town That's Almost Always by the Ocean is a middle grade novel written by Kir Fox, M. Shelley Coats. It was illustrated by Rachel Sanson. In Topsea the coves are bottomless and the pier has no end in sight. There's a high tide and a low tide and a vanishing tide. Dogs are a myth, but mermaids are totally real. And seaweed is the main ingredient in every meal-watch out, it might just start chewing you back!

New kid Davy definitely thinks Topsea is strange. His mom keeps saying they'll g
...more
Billie
Mar 20, 2018 rated it liked it
If you know kids who are still a little too young for Night Vale, perhaps consider a visit to Topsea, instead. It's a town where you may find your locker at the bottom of the swimming pool. Where ice cream comes with surprises—some of them bees. Where the shady and sinister PTA is always trying to spoil your fun. Where the seaweed can be a bit aggressive. And where sometimes the gravity needs adjusting.

This first series entry is a fun, slightly surreal middle grade adventure for readers with an
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Sarah Sammis
It's like Welcome to Nightvale but for middle graders.

Where Nigthvale has the weather, Topsea has the tide reports. Where Nightvale has the hooded figures, Topsea has the PTA. Nightvale has the Dog Park; Topsea has a Water Park. Beware of old oak doors in Nightvale, likewise basements and sub-basements in Topsea. I could go on and on with comparisons, but you get the idea.

http://pussreboots.com/blog/2018/comm...
Meredith Spidel
Feb 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a fun, creative tale for kiddos--nothing feeds young imaginations like an upside-down, topsy-turvy world! A delight to read and share with my children--we are loving our time in Topsea ;) Thanks for sending us an ARC in exchange for an honest review. This is a brilliant book.
Tess
Jan 08, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is like "A Series of Unfortunate Events" meets "Welcome to Night Vale" for kids.
Shell
Apr 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-books
Quirky middle grades book that reminds me a lot of Sideways Stories fe m Wayside School. It’s fun and would keep the interest of middle grade readers. It would make a great read aloud for the classroom. I was sent a copy of this book for review.
Margie aka The Bumble Girl
It has been too long since I have read an interesting quirky middle-grade book just for fun! Full of interesting diverse characters, a magical world that kept getting better and better... and, a very smart and endearing watch-hog! (Have you ever heard of a watch-hog? Me either! And now I'm sure you'll want to find out what one is...)

Davy and his mom have moved to Topsea to start fresh, and Davy is doing his absolute best to adjust and fit in. However, Topsea is not like any place he's ever been
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Rajiv
Jan 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018-books
A BIG Thank You to Netgalley and Disney-Hyperion for providing me an advanced reader copy of “A Friendly Town That's Almost Always by the Ocean!" by Kir Fox, M. Shelley Coats in exchange for my honest review.

Am I the only one who had mixed feelings about this book? I am seeing quite a lot of five star reviews out there for “Secrets of Topsea”, and the only term that comes to my mind for summing up this book is “meh”.

Don’t get me wrong. I love reading strange, bizarre books, particularly directed
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Lissa
Jan 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this aloud to my 7 and 9 year old— great fun!!!

T says Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library is a readalike.
Michele Jennifer
Dec 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley, div2
The Nitty-Gritty:
I absolutely love bizarre middle grade novels. Most of the time they do such a fantastic job of capturing the wild imagination of a ten-year old child. And A Friendly Town definitely checks off all of the bizarre boxes. There are several strange vignettes, and having Davy (Jones – yes, I see what you did there with his locker at the bottom of the pool) as the new kid in town the reader has a channel for their endless questions. We have several fascinating characters – a boy who
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Janie G
Feb 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Topsea definitely is a friendly little town, the positive characters, relationships, and interactions are what make this book great. Everyone is genuinely helpful and kind, the narrative doesn’t rely on tense characterization, conflict, or competitiveness to drive character relationships. The narrative is focused on just how weird Topsea is, and it takes that weirdness completely seriously. Basements with basements (that one should probably never go in), lockers at the bottom of swimming pools, ...more
Amanda
I kept getting frustrated with this book while I was reading it; that's why it's only 3 stars and not 4 stars. I thought that I would LOVE it, but I only liked it. I kept wanting resolution, and not getting it, and I felt like the authors were just being weird for the sake of trying to be weird and clever and show-off-y and not for the sake of forwarding the story.

*sigh* Now it sounds like I didn't like this at all, and that isn't the case. I would read the sequel, but with hesitation. I wouldn'
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Kirsti Call
Jan 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This quirky book was a fun quick read. Filled with interesting characters and wacky circumstances, Topsea is the kind of book that will make you laugh and wonder. Davy, the main characters is pretty confused when he moves to this new town and his locker is at the bottom of the pool...but he has to "adjust." The story follows Davy's journey as he figures out the town and how to make friends. By the end he's figured out who he really is. At least we think he has. This book keeps you guessing until ...more
Jared White
Jun 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
I liked this book just enough to not abandon it but I do not plan to read any more in this series. A very silly book that loosely deals with the topic of loss.

To me there wasn't a strong enough plot. Also, it sometimes felt like the authors, as they were writing it would say to each other, "What's the most random thing that can happen next?" and then they would run with that idea...until they decided to run in a completely different direction, possibly with their eyes closed.

I love some juvenil
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Mundie Moms & Mundie Kids
A fun, imaginative read. This book is mix of a variety elements that make up a charming, yet very unique middle grade story. Like Davy and his classmates discover, the harder you try to figure out anything that's happening in Topsea, the harder it is to understand all that's going. That's the part of what makes this story so fun to read. The trick is to just go with the flow when reading this story. Trust us!

FULL REVIEW https://mundiekids.blogspot.com/2018/...
Aprilj328
Aug 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
Davy is new to Topsea and is having some trouble fitting in. He is a normal kid in an odd town. But things aren't just odd and different --they are vaguely menacing at times. A slightly creepy, warm hearted story about a boy making friends and trying to figure things out. MG Friendship; Fantasy; School Story; Grief
Beth
Dec 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
A Wayside-school type fantasy with a main character who is new to the quirky town and helps ease the reader into the world of strange tides, oddly behaved crabs, a tragic dog legend, and an abandoned arcade. It would make for a fun read-aloud, although the bits about the dead dad are a downer.
Samantha Ania
May 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this. It's like if Sideways Stories from Wayside School met Welcome to Night Vale. It's funny and weird and creepy and heartwarming. I loved how the kids always triumphed and how friendships are portrayed.
Kathy
Very similar to "The Wayside School" stories. I don't understand their appeal, either, but I would definitely give this to fans of those books.
Evelyn
Oct 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book had her cracking up out loud. she is 10 and read this in a few hours :)
Ash
Aug 31, 2018 rated it liked it
Recommended to Ash by: OwlCrate
I loved the fun vibe to this small little ocean town. Very cute!
Alice
Aug 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Different
Ella Caitlyn Mao
May 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love this book! It’s totally awesome and I can’t wait to read the second book!

Cindy
May 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved it. It reminded me of a modern wayside school is falling down. Perfect.
Ms. Yingling
Feb 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Did not meet the needs of my collection at this time, although I usually love Hubbard and Shusterman.
Matthew
Jan 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Review copy provided by NetGalley

I have to admit, this book was an odd one. It reminded slightly of the Wayside School series by Louis Sachar, but only slightly. Everything about the town of Topsea is very strange, particularly the school, yet only Davy seems aware of its strangeness. He is finding his way as the new kid in this odd, quirky place, trying to find a way to fit in in a place that is not easy to find a normal to fit into.

In the middle, I felt like Davy wasn't always the main charact
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Lucia
rated it really liked it
Dec 09, 2018
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Other books in the series

Secrets of Topsea (2 books)
  • The Extremely High Tide! (Secrets of Topsea)