The Turning by Whitman
Eleven-year-old Aran has never truly fit in with his selkie clan. Aran was born in his human form, without a pelt to transform him into a sleek, strong seal. Each day, he waits, left behind while his selkie family explores the deep ocean. But when Aran discovers he is only half-selkie, with a human father, he begins to worry that his pelt will never come. His mother, refusing to give up on Aran’s true form, sets off with the rest of their clan to find the wise selkies far to the north who might have the only solution to Aran’s problem. While she’s gone, Aran is left in the care of a reclusive human woman on remote Spindle Island. Life on land is full of more wonders—and more dangers—than Aran could ever have imagined. And when Aran’s life is threatened, he must decide whether to fight for his place on land, or return to his home in the sea.
Emily Whitman has crafted a lyrical tale of belonging, rich with Celtic lore and writing that pulls the heart like the tides. Fans of the expertly crafted storytelling of Kate Milford’s The Greenglass House or Lauren Wolk’s Beyond the Bright Sea will savor this deeply felt middle grade debut. “Whitman builds a beautiful slow burn with her evocative middle-grade debut,” proclaimed Booklist.