June 15, 2016
New Release: Author Note, Book Giveaway, and More
Fans of comic books and graphic novels will love meeting Eliot during his unforgettable summer in SEA CHANGE by Frank Viva, named a Publishers Weekly Best Book for Summer.
Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp
Ages 8-12 / Fiction / TOON Graphics
Win a set of Sea Change by Frank Viva for your book club. Enter to win by emailing the publisher (write "KidsBookclubbing" in the subject line).
Can one summer change your life forever? Eliot is sent off by his parents to a remote fishing village at the very edge of the world. Can a pampered suburban kid find his way in a place filled with wrinkly old relatives, maggots and bullies? In this coming-of-age story, Eliot faces issues that test his mettle. He's forced to grow up when he encounters obstacles that can't be easily overcome and I invite you to explore this life-changing story in your book club.
I hope you'll explore how the book weaves together words, art and typography to encourage readers to crack the code of visual literacy. The design illuminates the meaning of the text to make it more comprehensible and memorable. When Eliot's Grand Uncle is relaxing on a set of stairs, the paragraph of typography becomes the stairs. Elsewhere, letters become a sky filled with stars. I wanted to show how one's understanding of people and situations reconfigures itself over time.
-Frank Viva, designer for The New Yorker and for Viva and Co. (among others) and children's book author and artist
Publishers Weekly BEST Books for Summer 2016
"[Sea Change] is the novel equivalent of the best summer-vacation postcard a person could get."
-Shelf Awareness ★ STARRED REVIEW
"At turns tender, funny and sad, the tale of Eliot's summer is as unforgettable and enlivening as a dash of the cold Atlantic."
-The Wall Street Journal
"Moving from picture books into fiction can be a stretch; Viva makes it look easy."
-Publishers Weekly ★ STARRED REVIEW
"Sea Change is like a dip in cold Canadian waters: just step inside, and soon you're completely swept away, finding yourself overwhelmed and breathless, entranced by this whirlwind of a book. Bravo, Frank Viva. And glub, glub, glub."
Please download the Sea Change
complete teacher & discussion guide
on many topics including Themes & Symbols, Characters & Relationships, Names & Nicknames, Similes and Metaphors, Color & Style, and Human Nature.
Select discussion questions:
- Eliot begins his time in Point Aconi as an outsider, and he receives some unkind treatment from certain characters, especially Donnie. However, Miss Gifford also began as an outsider in Point Aconi, and she is respected as an authority figure. In Point Aconi, certain characters are open to new things or people (Mary Beth, Timmy), and some are not (Donnie, and to some extent, Uncle Earl). Humans always seem to prefer things that have been around longer, and the idea that longevity equals goodness is prevalent throughout history. Talk about your own perspectives on encountering new people and experiences. Sometimes it is important to adhere to traditions, sometimes change is necessary for growth. Do you like change? Why or why not?
- Talk about the role of the sea in Sea Change. Point out some of the sea-related words or phrases (such as Fathom, pirate, faded anchor tattoo, sea legs). What do they mean? Why do you think they were introduced by the author, and what can they tell us about the story?
- What is the name of Uncle Earl's boat? Why does he choose this particular name? At the beginning of the summer, Eliot hates his middle name and the boat. How do these two dislikes relate to each other, and how do Eliot's feelings change?
- Which objects or items are exchanged as gifts from one character to another? Discuss the meaning of these gifts. How do they change the giver and the receiver?
- The author uses a very limited color palette in Sea Change. He uses three main colors, plus white and black. Talk about his color choices and ask students: how do these limited colors create a mood for the story? Notice that words can be placed to create the depth or the height of the space; that is to say, words on a two-dimensional plane (paper) have the ability to break a barrier and build a three-dimensional space. Find examples in the book, and support your thoughts. (On p. 63 words are arranged to create the illusion of stairs.) Compare p. 21 and p. 46, see how the author drew these two similar scenes with a line of fish attached to a string.
- Ask your group if they have ever moved to another home or gone to another school. How did they feel about the change? What specifically was difficult, and how did they overcome it? What did they do to alter their thinking or actions so that everything turned out all right in the end? If they have difficulty choosing a situation, remind them that they all started school at some point, and that was a big change for them.
Author call-in information: Frank Viva is happy to call-in to or Skype with your club. Email him to submit your request.
- A maximum of 10 books is available for each book club giveaway.
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