“Christine Day has written a powerful #OwnVoices middle-grade novel about a Makah/Piscataway girl slowly recovering from a ballet injury. Maisie’s struggles with depression, anxiety, and loneliness, as well as her humor, perseverance, and ability to find love and support, will resonate strongly with middle schoolers and with adults. The Sea in Winter is a love letter to all of us right now as we suffer the loss of our pre-COVID lives and figure out how to stay resilient and hopeful in these scary and uncertain times.”
— Alyssa Raymond, Copper Dog Books, Beverly, MA
American Indian Youth Literature Award: Middle Grade Honor Book! In this evocative and heartwarming novel for readers who loved The Thing About Jellyfish, the author of I Can Make This Promise tells the story of a Native American girl struggling to find her joy again.
It’s been a hard year for Maisie Cannon, ever since she hurt her leg and could not keep up with her ballet training and auditions.
Her blended family is loving and supportive, but Maisie knows that they just can’t understand how hopeless she feels. With everything she’s dealing with, Maisie is not excited for their family midwinter road trip along the coast, near the Makah community where her mother grew up.
But soon, Maisie’s anxieties and dark moods start to hurt as much as the pain in her knee. How can she keep pretending to be strong when on the inside she feels as roiling and cold as the ocean?
The Heartdrum imprint centers a wide range of intertribal voices, visions, and stories while welcoming all young readers, with an emphasis on the present and future of Indian Country and on the strength of young Native heroes. In partnership with We Need Diverse Books.
Christine Day (Upper Skagit) is the author of The Sea in Winter and I Can Make This Promise, which was a best book of the year from Kirkus Reviews, School Library Journal, NPR, and the Chicago Public Library, as well as an American Indian Youth Literature Award Honor Book and a Charlotte Huck Award Honor Book. You can visit her online at bychristineday.com
"This thoughtful, honest sophomore novel invites readers to reckon with life's messy complexities while reassuring them that every ending brings the seeds of new beginnings." — Shelf Awareness
This meditative story about a middle school girl’s courageous journey toward healing follows a family as they navigate the complexities of supporting a tween’s life-changing injury. In her second novel, Day offers a heartening glimpse into the immense patience and love required to endure limitations, build strength, and repair damage. An insightful, stirring read about healing and resilience. — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"Most of Maisie’s tale is compressed into a period of several days over winter break, and as readers share her inner monologue, they’re keenly aware that failure to follow professional advice and accept the support of teachers, family, and friends (who have demonstrably not deserted her) is turning her into her own worst enemy. Day lifts the narrative beyond the tribulations of another angsty tween heroine by offering an eminently reasonable path forward, paved with physical healing, emotional therapy, and reconnection with friends." — Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
"A contemplative and emotional story of resilience and reinvention whose dedication sums it up well: 'To anyone who needs a reminder that pain is temporary.'" — Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Day’s contemplative #OwnVoices novel adeptly explores Maisie’s grief and identity, both as a dancer and as a Native American, with the latter organically highlighting variations within Native cultures. An inaugural title of the Native-centered imprint Heartdrum, this finds strength and beauty in life’s quiet moments and opportunity in the unexpected." — Booklist
"The story takes place primarily over the course of four days, during which we get to know Maisie’s family uncommonly well through quotidian details and worldview-encompassing conversations; secondary characters, too, are nuanced and vividly drawn. Maisie’s pain is specific to her experience while being relatable to many readers going through big life changes. Her alienation, denial, and despair make her eventual opening up feel cathartic and narratively earned. The Pacific Northwest setting is atmospherically described and indicative of this Native blended family’s formative experiences." — Horn Book Magazine
"The Sea in Winter is a refreshing and moving story of grief and healing from one of middle grade’s brightest rising stars." — BookPage (starred review)