Tides

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Elizabeth Sheridan, now 12, returns with her extended family to her grandmother’s beach house. Elizabeth has been looking forward to the trip all winter, but almost immediately things begin to go wrong. Adam, the eldest cousin, is withdrawn and moody. His world shattered by the deaths of his two best friends, he refuses to participate in family events — or stay at Grandma’s house. Elizabeth watches how everyone reacts to Adam’s behavior. Even Grandma, whose sense of right and wrong guides them all, is shaken. As ...
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Overview

Elizabeth Sheridan, now 12, returns with her extended family to her grandmother’s beach house. Elizabeth has been looking forward to the trip all winter, but almost immediately things begin to go wrong. Adam, the eldest cousin, is withdrawn and moody. His world shattered by the deaths of his two best friends, he refuses to participate in family events — or stay at Grandma’s house. Elizabeth watches how everyone reacts to Adam’s behavior. Even Grandma, whose sense of right and wrong guides them all, is shaken. As the newest member of her adoptive family, Elizabeth becomes the intermediary between Adam and the rest of the clan. One thing is certain: it will take more than the summer to sort things out. As in The Ocean Within, readers will become immersed in how even the strongest families deal with change.

While spending the summer with her new siblings and cousins at their grandmother's house by the ocean, Elizabeth begins to feel that she belongs to her adoptive family.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Elizabeth Sheridan, first introduced in The Ocean Within, returns in Tides by V.M. Caldwell, illus. by Erica Magnus, as she and her adoptive family head back to Grandma's beach house for some summer fun. But Adam, the oldest cousin, is distraught after losing two close friends to a drunk driving accident and his abrupt withdrawal has thrown the family into new territory. ( Apr.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
This well-written, realistic family story continues many of the challenges and situations of the preceding novel, The Ocean Within, as newly adopted Elizabeth struggles to fit into the close, multigenerational Sheridan family. Now twelve-years-old, Elizabeth eagerly anticipates a long summer of swimming and fun at the beach home of matriarch Grandma Sheridan and the nine Sheridan cousins, who range in age from four to eighteen. Problems arise almost right away, such as Elizabeth's unexpected fear of the ocean, eighteen-year-old Adam's need to distance himself from the family and pollution dangers threatening the beach. The author does an especially good job of describing the changing intricacies of family dynamics and relationships. Although the novel can be enjoyed on its own, it is somewhat dependent on the first novel. A diagram of the Sheridan family tree at the beginning of the book helps readers who have not read the first book keep the many family members straight. 2001, Milkweed Editions, $16.95 and $6.95. Ages 10 to 14. Reviewer:Gisela Jernigan
VOYA
This novel continues the story begun in The Ocean Within (Milkweed Editions, 1999/VOYA April 2000), as newly adopted twelve-year-old Elizabeth joins her seven Sheridan cousins for a summer at their grandmother's seashore home. The vacation begins disappointingly when Elizabeth discovers her fear of water has returned, and every visit to the ocean becomes a trial. Meanwhile, eighteen-year-old Adam, the eldest cousin, is wrenching away from the family while Grandmother, unable to comfort or control him, seems to weaken in Elizabeth's eyes. Involvement with a local environmental group distracts Elizabeth from some of her problems, although every family member feels the strain of Adam's eventual break from them. For the first time, Elizabeth finds herself an important player in the affairs of her new family as the Sheridans struggle to stay together. Caldwell encourages reader empathy in her second novel. Both Elizabeth and the reader, as Sheridan newcomers, have nearly identical frames of reference. The somewhat distant narration is contrasted with Elizabeth's italicized thoughts and inner comments, most of which read as stream-of-consciousness responses to the action. This device, however, is used sloppily. The third-person narration is almost emotionless, making Elizabeth's inner commentary seem more reactionary than appropriate. Although the Sheridan setup is reminiscent of a Madeleine L'Engle-styled situation, L'Engle's warmth and rich characterization are missing from Caldwell's family drama. VOYA CODES: 2Q 2P M J (Better editing or work by the author might have warranted a 3Q; For the YA with a special interest in the subject; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High,defined as grades 7 to 9). 2001, Milkweed Editions, 332p, $16.92, $6.95 Trade pb. Ages 12 to 15. Reviewer: Amy S. Pattee SOURCE: VOYA, August 2001 (Vol. 24, No. 3)
School Library Journal
Gr 5-9-This book picks up the summer after the events of The Ocean Within (Milkweed, 1999). Elizabeth, 12, is now officially adopted into the lively, openly affectionate Sheridan family and is spending the summer with her two siblings and six cousins. She looks forward to long days at the beachfront home of strict but well-loved Grandma and demonstrating her new swimming skills. However, the eldest cousin, Adam, has lost two friends in a drunk-driving accident and has alienated himself from the family, and Grandma finds that her rules (complete with corporal punishment) do not provide clear-cut solutions to deal with the schism. And Elizabeth discovers that, despite her swimming lessons, she is still terrified to step into the ocean. When her youngest cousin almost drowns, she rescues him but then both of them avoid the water. They become involved in collecting water samples for an environmental activist determined to find and prosecute an ocean polluter. In helping in this effort, they learn about healing in nature and in themselves. The story is told with a fine-tuned empathy for the main characters, and Grandma's flawed but genuinely compassionate humanity is one of its major strengths. Elizabeth's thoughts, relayed in first-person italics, alternately enhance and distract from the flow of the third-person narrative. A lot of background information gets packed into the ending almost all at once, but the resolutions to the various story threads are realistically joyful and bittersweet.-Farida S. Dowler, formerly at Bellevue Regional Library, WA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
From The Critics
Tides is the eagerly awaited sequel to V.M. Caldwell's The Ocean Within and continues the story of Elizabeth Sheridan and her adoptive family. Elizabeth returns to summer with the Sheridan and enjoy her gradually increasing sense of belonging, as well as show off her new swimming skills! As the summer unfolds she begins to learn that really participating in family life means being a part of the stormy days as well as the sunny ones and is amazed to discover that the "real" Sheridan kids are capable of troubled times of their own. The oldest cousin Adam is reeling after losing two close friends to a drunk driving accident and his abrupt withdrawal has thrown the whole family into a quandary. Elizabeth's efforts to bring her older cousin back into the family fold and her ability to channel her fears of swimming in the ocean into an environmental activism will fully engage the attention of young pre-teen readers from first page to last.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781571316295
  • Publisher: Milkweed Editions
  • Publication date: 3/28/2001
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Pages: 328
  • Age range: 8 - 13 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.32 (w) x 8.08 (h) x 0.92 (d)

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 12, 2001

    Great

    It's great if your interested in books that catch your attention. If you like to read about girls around the age 12 you'll love it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2002

    It was good

    I really liked it, not as much as I liked The Ocean Within, but it was still pretty good.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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