Monday, September 2, 2019

Middle Grade Monday: Queen of the Sea by Dylan Meconis

Image: Candlewick Press
Queen of the Sea by Dylan Meconis. 400 p. Walker Books/ Candlewick Press, June, 2019. 9781536204988. (Review of finished purchased copy.)

Happy Labor Day Monday, TMS Readers! Today is my last day of summer vacation. I plan on finishing my 91st book today. If it rains, I might be able to squeeze in a 92nd.

Middle Grade Monday features a gorgeous MG graphic novel debut called Queen of the Sea, written and illustrated by Dylan Meconis. This rich and atmospheric tale takes place on a tiny island off the coast of Albion and is told by Margaret, an orphan, who is being raised by the nuns who live on the island. It's a work of fiction, but loosely based on the story of young Queen Elizabeth I. 

We learn of life on the wind-swept, mostly barren island. The inhabitants work hard and have contact with the outside world only twice a year, when a supply ship arrives. Occasionally, the ships arrive with new residents, as in the case of William and his mother; and, later, an unexpected ship with the arrival of a mysterious "prisoner." 

The art is luscious—pen and ink and earth toned watercolor. The paper is creamy and the book has some heft. There's a lot of dialogue to follow, which might require some rereading. Queen of the Sea is a thoughtful, suspenseful yet humorous tale that will stretch your graphic novel wings. Hand Queen of the Sea to your graphic novel fans as well as fans of historical fiction. Highly recommended! It's also getting a bit of well-deserved Newbery buzz.

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