A breathtaking adventure rooted in ancient folklore
Newbery Honor author Grace Lin returns to an imagined ancient China in her new fantasy novel. Like her previous books, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon and Starry River of the Sky, When the Sea Turned to Silver celebrates the power of storytelling while taking readers on an exciting, danger-filled adventure.
Quiet Pinmei lives with her grandmother, Amah, in a mountain hut. Although Amah ekes out a living with her embroidery, visitors are most attracted to her stories. But with the ascension of the Tiger Emperor, fear fills every heart, and one day the emperor’s men come for Amah. Pinmei manages to escape capture, and she and her friend Yishan set out on a quest to release Amah by bringing the Emperor the Luminous Stone That Lights the Night. Along the way, the two young travelers encounter adventures and magical creatures (including an amazing dragon horse), and shy Pinmei is often called upon to be brave and to tell the stories she knows—tales that help unlock the mystery of their epic quest.
Lin (whose own artwork graces the book) was inspired by ancient Chinese folklore to create her stories. Readers familiar with her other books will rejoice, and newcomers have not one, but three wonderful books to discover.
Deborah Hopkinson lives near Portland, Oregon. Her most recent book for young readers is Steamboat School.
This article was originally published in the October 2016 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.