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West of the Sea (Hardcover)

West of the Sea By Stephanie Willing Cover Image
On Our Shelves Now
2 on hand, as of Feb 25 10:33am
(Middle Grade)


Tae Keller meets Tracey Baptiste in a tale of generational trauma, told with a cryptozoological twist.

Paleontology-loving Haven West and her older sister, Margie, have hardly talked with their mom since she retreated into a deep depression. Each morning Haven wonders if it’s going to be a “good” or “bad” day, and the only thing that seems to occupy her mom is collecting fossils for her bone garden.

But one night, after an ominous moonlight heart-to-heart, her mom disappears—right before Haven discovers she’s inherited a monstrous family trait. It turns out that she is the latest in a long line of cryptids, a past her mom has been hiding. Suddenly, the Texas terrain is full of ghostly dinosaur silhouettes and Haven is breaking out in scales at all the wrong moments. Even worse, she doesn’t know whom she can trust with this information. 

Since the only person who could guide her through this has vanished, Haven sets off on the road trip of a lifetime with Margie and their new friend Rye in tow. Together, they’re determined to find her mom and finally get some answers, hopefully before Haven’s secret is revealed . . .

About the Author

Stephanie Willing is a writer and audiobook narrator who hasn’t been able to find good Tex-Mex food since she left her home state. She has an MFA in Writing for Young People from Lesley University. Originally from Texas, Stephanie now lives in New York City, and she never misses an opportunity to visit the dinosaurs at the Museum of Natural History.

Praise For…

Love for West of the Sea

* "Willing’s sparkling debut incorporates profound family dynamics, ghostly dinosaurs, a shape-shifting cryptid, and Celtic mythology, culminating in a suspenseful, innovative read."—Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Intriguing mythology with a prehistoric twist and an endearing family focus."—Kirkus Reviews

“Part road trip adventure, part family reckoning, Willing’s debut ambitiously approaches loss, mental illness, identity, neurodivergence, and adolescence and executes them with compassion and depth.”—Booklist
Product Details
ISBN: 9780593465578
ISBN-10: 0593465571
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: August 15th, 2023
Pages: 352
Language: English