Which is alarming because, for the first time in I don’t know HOW long, I’ve managed to read only one of last year’s four Newbery winners. ONE! And it was essentially picture book length! The other three are all well over 300 pages, and I haven’t gotten to them partly because I have so much less time to read than I used to and I desperately want to FINISH books. Which is why, in 2018, I set a Goodreads goal of 10 fewer books than last year; I want to read more of the longer books that I’ve been putting off for being, well, longer. Now, the catch is that I also like to read a lot of the books my older girlies are interested in, and so this will be the year of bigs and littles for me–big books that I’ve been putting off because Goodreads is already yelling that I’m a book behind!, and little books (or graphic novels, because they’re fast if not little) that my girls want and that I’m curious enough about to read before handing them over. I’ve already finished one of the latter this year, and tonight I get to review one of the former. (Although to be fair, it’s noticeably illustrated and has a large, impressively spaced font style, but still–370 pages!)
Technically, of course, When the Sea Turned to Silver is checked out on my oldest daughter’s card; she loves Grace Lin’s most recent books. Since one of those was a Newbery, however, I care enough about Lin’s other books that I sequestered this one in my room until I got the chance to read it. (Does that make me a bad mother?) It seemed a good choice for easing into a commitment to read longer books this year, though, and so off my shelf it came. And I have to say, I really enjoyed it. It suffered a bit from the necessity of reading it in smaller chunks–most books do–but the way the stories in it weave together and build toward the climax gave it an added measure of intensity for me. Pinmei’s social anxiety also made her a more interesting main character, perhaps because I know and love more than one person with similar struggles. Watching her grow and develop into a strong (female) protagonist from such a timid beginning is both entertaining and rewarding, so seriously–don’t miss this one.