When the Sea Turned to Silver

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Sometimes when I pick up a book, I know that I will love the story just by the first line. When the Sea Turned to Silver begins: “When the sea turned to silver and the cold chilled the light of the sun, Pinmei knew the Black Tortoise of Winter had arrived with its usual calmness.”

Grace Lin’s When the Sea Turned to Silver is a perfect winter read, and – as you can tell from the first line – it would be a great family read-aloud.  This book is the third in a series that expertly weaves together Lin’s original adventure tales with traditional Chinese folk tales.  These books are enhanced with Lin’s richly colored illustrations.  You don’t need to read the first two books before reading this one, but once you read this one, I bet you will want to go and read the other two as well.

You may even want to read some of the traditional Chinese folk tales that Lin used. A selection of books that she used for research is included in the back of the book.  We own quite a few of these books at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, and reading some of the original tales is another wonderful way to spend a winter night.

When the Sea Turned to Silver

Pinmei, a storyteller’s granddaughter, must find the Luminous Stone that Lights the Night to rescue her grandmother, who has been kidnapped by the Tiger Emperor.