Walk Across the Sea

Walk Across the Sea

For Ages: 10 - 14
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The first time Eliza sees Wah Chung, he is squatting beside some rocks on the pathway to her island. Eliza's island is the one on which the lighthouse -- operated and maintained by her father -- stands, sending its beacon of safety to ships at sea. The pathway to the island is a treacherous one, engulfed by water when the tide is high, passable only when the tide is low and reveals the secret life of the sea on the rocks and in the pools that remain.

Although Eliza is careful to avoid Wah Chung as he paints among the rocks (after all, he is a Chinaman), when a "sneaker wave" approaches the passage, it is Wah Chung who warns her and then rescues Eliza's goat, Parthenia, before both are swept away.

It is a simple act of kindness, but one that causes Eliza to doubt many things. Are the Celestials, as the Chinese immigrants are called, such a threat to their small town? Are they really heathens, as her father claims? And what should she do when the townspeople conspire to expel these people forcibly? How will Eliza act, in the face of her father's strong beliefs and his duties as the lighthouse keeper, when Wah Chung comes to her for help in return?
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Book Details:
  • Atheneum Books for Young Readers | 
  • 224 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781439132395 | 
  • October 2011 | 
  • Grades 5 - 9
List Price $11.99

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1: The China Boy

March 1886

Crescent City, California


The beginning of the end of our life in the lighthouse was the day the goat got loose.

Well. There were many such days. Papa had bought her -- Parthenia -- to crop the poison oak and blackberry bushes that threatened to overtake our island. The milk was extra blessing.

Parthenia did her job too well. When she had taken her fill of brambles, she commenced upon Mama's vegetables and roses. Mama gave roses the go-by in time, but Papa built fence after fence for the garden before he finally set up one that goat looked upon as a... see more

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