Gifts from the Sea
Ages 8 to 12
Random House, 2003, 0-440-41970
Since her mother died not long ago Quila has had a hard time. Angry with God and her lighthouse keeper father, Quila wonders how they are going to manage living on the island of Devil’s Rock without Mama there to keep them smiling and happy. Suddenly life on the bleak little island seems so empty and lonely.
Then Quila is given a gift, an extraordinary gift which changes everything. A baby is washed up on the shore of the island and Quila finds it. Quila adopts the baby and names it Celia and soon the little girl is an important part of their lives, giving them a reason to laugh and to sing once more. Quila is happy with her life - though she sometimes wishes that she didn’t have to watch Celia all the time – until a new person arrives on the island, a person who threatens to upset the life that Quila has built for herself and her little family.
Based on the true story of an 1800’s Maine lighthouse keeper and his wife who found a baby washed ashore, this poignant tale beautifully captures the anger and loss that a child can feel when one of their parents dies. Because of her unique circumstances Quila has to become the lady of the house, cooking, cleaning, and doing all the chores that her mother used to do. She no longer has her mother to give her comfort and when she faced with the possible loss of Celia, Quila discovers that families can come in all shapes and sizes.
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