Review! A Friendly Town That’s Almost Always by the Ocean by Kir Fox & M. Shelley Coats

A Friendly Town That’s Almost Always by the Ocean
Series: Secrets of Topsea #1
By Kir Fox & M. Shelley Coats
208 pages – ages 9+
Published by Disney Hyperion on April 17, 2018

Synopsis from Publisher- “Welcome to Topsea, the strangest place you’ll ever visit. In this town, the coves are bottomless and the pier has no end in sight. There’s a high tide and a low tide… and a vanishing tide. Dogs are a myth, but mermaids are totally real. And seaweed is the main ingredient in every meal-watch out, it might just start chewing you back!

New kid Davy definitely thinks Topsea is strange. His mom keeps saying they’ll get used to life in their new town-it’s just the way things are on the coast! But after his first day at Topsea School, Davy finds himself wondering: Why is his locker all the way at the bottom of the school swimming pool? Why can’t anyone remember his name? (It’s Davy!) And why does everyone act like all of this is normal?!

Through newspaper articles, stories, surveys, notifications, and more, follow Davy and the rest of Ms. Grimalkin’s fifth grade class through the weird world of Topsea. (Whatever you do, don’t make eye contact with the rubber ducks.)”

What I Thought- This was a really fun book to read – I love how it’s set up, with the chapters told from the different kids’ perspectives. I thought it was unique that about 6-ish characters have their own spotlight and their own voice that’s different from any of the others – which I imagine is difficult to keep track of. One of the things I liked was that Topsea is an odd place, and the characters who live there know the answers to some of the questions the readers may have – but when it’s their turn to narrate a chapter, they don’t spoil the joy of the reader figuring things out through the plot line. The authors have really got that skill down pat, making the book mysterious and enthralling. The setting, the ocean-side town of Topsea, is a bit strange, with things that happen that aren’t quite explained by the end of the book. I enjoyed this, as it creates a sense of intrigue and wonder for the story, and even for the next book in the series. There are some really nice black-and-white illustrations scattered throughout the book that made things a bit easier to understand, emphasizing the wacky-ness of the setting and the characters. The book has a bunch of little details and subplots that really help to create the world the characters live in, fleshing it out into an enjoyable, believable place. I also liked how, in between the chapters, there were bulletins, notices, flyers, and school newspaper articles that added humor and even a little amount of backstory towards the happenings of the plot. I really recommend this as an engaging book for both reluctant readers and those who love a good story!

I give this book five out of five bookworms!



Categories: Age 9+

Tags: , , , , , ,

3 replies

  1. Sounds like an interesting book look forward to reading it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That sure is a long title for a book! Great cover. It reminds me a bit of a book I reviewed – Oddity – where everything odd is normal and everything normal is odd. It sounds a bit quirky and a lot of fun! Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Davy Jones’s locker!

    Oh, this book sounds nifty.

    Liked by 1 person

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