After a devastating tsunami strikes Osaka, Japan, Kai Ellstrom’s parents send him to stay with family in Oregon until their city stabilizes. Kai barely remembers his father’s brother and family, including his teen cousin Jet, and awkwardness persists until Kai and Jet discover a common interest: their fathers’ boat, the Saga. Kai and Jet decide to sail the Saga in the same race their fathers did as teenagers, but they’re unaware of the unexpected challenges that await them.
Rosanne Parry’s The Turn of the Tide offers middle-grade readers a window into the dangerous lives of bar pilots. Much of the setting centers on the Columbia Bar, a treacherous coastal region infamously known as the “Graveyard of the Pacific.” While lacing her third-person narrative with all things maritime, Parry includes one real character in her well-defined fictional cast: Captain Deborah Dempsey, the first woman to pilot the Columbia Bar and Jet’s personal heroine. Parry builds tension between Jet’s secret bar pilot aspirations, Kai’s familial struggles and Jet and Kai’s relationship, all while accelerating toward the Treasure Island Race.
As well as a glossary and recommended resources, the book includes a personal message from Captain Dempsey to young mariners. This is an endearing story of courage and determination from the award-winning author of Heart of a Shepherd.