Dark Tide

by Sean Rodman
Orca Book Publishers, 2023
ISBN 9781459837119
$10.95, 83 pp. ages 12 – 16

Kai, a seventeen-year-old, joins his new stepfather to spend time in a remote area called Blind Bay, working on a research project that maps underwater caves with sound waves. Kai’s stepfather, Rick, is concerned about Kai’s safety and lack of cooperation as they begin their adventure. Kai is angry and uncertain about spending time with his stepfather, and runs away and confronts a monster who lives deep in an underwater cave. Frightened, Kai manages to escape with his dog Alfie, only to find Rick does not believe his story of a frightful monster that appears at the back of a waterfall. While Kai and Rick are safely at home, the monster returns to the pier, and Kai and Rick need to work together on a plan to lure the monster back to his underwater cave.

Curriculum Connections: Many teens will identify with the tension that often happens between stepparents and stepchildren. This book, which describes how families need to build bonds by believing in each other and working together on solving problems, can reinforce strategies that build cooperation, trust, and stronger family ties. Students can explore the questions that readers of fantasy often ask: Is this story believable? Where has science come up with factual information that explains what initially seems fantastical? As students make connections with their own fantastical “monsters,” it would be interesting to discuss how we use both science and our imagination to deal with scary, real, or imaginative monsters.

Review by Betty Schultze.

This review is featured in Candian Teacher Magazine’s Spring 2024 issue.

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