The Sea in Winter


MG & Up

  • Indigenous Voices
  • Mental health
  • Depression
  • Athleticism
  • Dance
  • Own Voices

Christine Day


The Sea in Winter is Christine Day’s latest, and it’s a lovely novel that broaches topics of mental health, blended families, and adapting to unexpected (and disliked) changes in life.

Maisie is a ballerina, and healing from a torn ACL…which means no dancing. Her friends are all trying out for elite summer training programs and she’s not event allowed to practice. She’s depressed, cranky, and trying to sort through her feelings about everything. I particularly liked Maisie’s family dynamics, and her brother Connor is an adorable ray of sunshine. The importance of their Native heritage (also blended) plays a large role in how the family navigates their lives, and I loved the author’s note in the back of the book as well which speaks about much of the same.

Maisie is a narrator all of us can relate to, and seeing her work through her mental health after-effects of the injury is echoed throughout all of our own lives, whether or not our own injuries are physical. I urge you all to check out this book, I finished it in just a few hours!

I chose to share this book today because it’s a very special day-HarperKids is having a launch event for their new imprint, Heartdrum! Here’s a bit more information about the imprint from their website:

“The Heartdrum name and logo pay tribute to the connection between the drumbeat and the heartbeat it evokes of the Native community. Logo artist Nasuġraq Rainey Hopson (Iñupiaq) says, “The Native American population is beautifully diverse, and I wanted to capture the elements that we had in common and that unite us all: our connection with nature and our path towards balance and unity.”

As part of the imprint’s mission, Heartdrum will make an annual donation to the We Need Diverse Books (WNDB) Native Fund, to be used for writing workshops. “WNDB is excited to partner with Cynthia Leitich Smith and HarperCollins Children’s Books to host a series of workshops designed to support and celebrate Native creatives,” says Ellen Oh, Chief Executive Officer of WNDB. “Heartdrum is a much-needed addition to children’s publishing.”

This book was kindly sent by HarperKids, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to be able to review it. All opinions and decision to review is my own!

Christine Day

Christine Day (Upper Skagit) grew up in Seattle, nestled between the sea, the mountains, and the pages of her favorite books. Her debut novel, I Can Make This Promise, was a best book of the year from Kirkus, School Library Journal, NPR, and the Chicago Public Library, as well as a Charlotte Huck Award Honor Book, and an American Indian Youth Literature Award Honor Book. Her second novel, The Sea in Winter, is coming to shelves on January 5, 2021. She also wrote the forthcoming She Persisted: Maria Tallchief, an early reader biography in a new series inspired by Chelsea Clinton’s bestselling picture book. Christine lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband.

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