Annie Lumsden, the Girl from the Sea — Review & Giveaway

Thought for the Day:

“An opening line should invite the reader to begin the story. It should say: Listen. Come in here. You want to know about this.”
~ Stephen King ~

Gifts for My Writer Friends:

Jenna Harte has written a great guest post HERE on Fiction University that give Easy Tips to Incorporate Backstory into Your Novel.

Someone once told me there are 37 comma rules. I’m kind of a grammar Nazi, but I don’t know all the comma rules. HERE Derek Haines at Just Publishing Advice has Don’t Let the Comma Before Which Confuse You. He has wonderful examples.

HERE is a terrific post at Writers on the Move from Carolyn Howard-Johnson on How to Write a Chase Scene that Works.

It has been a difficult couple of weeks for me. There is something wrong with my lower back, and I have been laid low by it. Massage and chiropractic treatments haven’t solved the problem. I ice, heat, rest, repeat all day every day. I have been taking muscle relaxants for the last week, which makes me pretty loopy and sleepy. Nothing. I will have an MRI on Thursday, the soonest they can get me scheduled. The good news is it has been a great time to be stuck doing nothing. See? Everything has a silver lining. I have watched some of the best, most exciting tennis of my life at the French Open. The match in the semi-finals between Nadal and Djokovic was nothing short of mind-bending. Of course, I have also been reading some good books you will be hearing about it coming weeks, maybe the best of which is Six Feet Below Zero by Ena Jones. I’m about 20 pages from the end, and I really don’t want it to be over. Sooooo good! I won a copy on From the Mixed Up Files … of Middle Grade Authors. Anyway, that leads me to the book I will tell you about today.

Whenever I read a David Almond book (I’ve only read a few), I feel a little off kilter. I always feel like I’m not sure it’s really a kids’ book. Maybe they are really adult parables disguised as kids’ books. There are deceptive layers and messages that I’m not at all sure kids get or should get or are meant for kids to get. Annie Lumsden, the Girl from the Sea (illustrated by Beatrice Alemagna), is no exception to this. It’s an odd little story.

Annie isn’t like the other kids in school. Words and numbers don’t really make any sense to her. Some of the other children mock her, and she is asked to leave the school. She stays home with her mother, an artist, singer, and story teller, listening to the wonderful stories her mother tells her. She even tells Annie about the man who was her father, an odd man from the sea who was not quite human, who went back to the sea before she was born. Annie does things that seem more natural to her. Sometimes her legs weaken and collapse, but she can always swim in the sea and spend time lying on the beach. This is where she was happiest. A man from America comes to visit their town, to take pictures of the islands. He takes pictures of Annie and her mother. Annie’s mother asks if she can have one. And it is in that photograph that Annie sees the truth of herself.


David Almond has written a strange little tale full of mystery and fantasy and dreams. The gorgeous illustrations by Beatrice Alemagna have an ethereal quality that is perfect for this otherworldly tale. The writing is beautiful and the story is different from anything else one might find in middle-grade books. This is a book to be experienced rather than read. I received a copy of this book from Candlewick Press in exchange for an honest review.

I have a gently-read copy for one of you. All you need do is be a follower or subscriber (it’s free!), have a U.S. address, and leave a comment below. If you would like extra chances, please share the link to this post on Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media outlet and let me know you have done that. And don’t forget to check for other Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday posts at the Greg Pattridge’s blog HERE.

25 thoughts on “Annie Lumsden, the Girl from the Sea — Review & Giveaway”

  1. I hope you feel better soon, and find out why your back is bothering you so much. This sounds like an interesting book. I wonder what the picture shows you. I’m way behind in my reading so will pass on the giveaway this week.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. May the coming week bring you relief from your back pain. Such a nuisance to deal with while trying to writer reviews and live life. At least the tennis matches were indeed great.
    Thanks for the links. I enjoyed them all and found the one on backstory the most helpful.
    I’d never heard of this book so I appreciate your honest assessment of how different of an MG book it is. I’ll have to take a look at some of his other works.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I really hope you get better soon! Back pain is one of the worst since we use our backs for everything. I’ve never read one of this author’s books and you have me intrigued. I shared on Facebook, Twitter, and tumblr. We watched the Detroit Grand Prix races here this weekend (when I wasn’t working in the yard) and it was awesome to have a live event back in the city.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Am not familiar with David Almond’s new book, but share some of your same thoughts about his writing style, which is very unique. Will pass on this one.

    Hope you get some relief for your back pain. That isn’t fun. Good luck with the MRI.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This sounds like such an intriguing story! I recall seeing another review of it recently, and I really appreciated your thoughts. Six Feet Below Zero also sounds like such a fun read—I look forward to seeing your review of it! I’m so sorry about your back pain, and good luck with your MRI. But I’m glad you’ve been enjoying tennis! The meme and quote are wonderful as well. I’ll pass on the giveaway, but thanks so much for the great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m so sorry about your back! That is the worst kind of pain. I hope you feel better soon!
    I really like your link about commas. 37 rules! I never knew.
    This sounds like a lovely book. The cover is just gorgeous, and I like how it appeals to both kids and adults. It sounds like a little magical realism, which I love.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I know what you mean about David Almond: “off-kilter” is a good way to describe his books! This one does sound intriguing. (I’ll pass on the giveaway since I’m in Canada.) Hope your back gets better; lower backs can be so problematic!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know I’m not alone in how Almond’s writing makes me feel. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Always nice to hear from you in Canada where it is probably not 109 degrees like it is here.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s