The Girl from the Sea by Molly Knox Ostertag is a young adult graphic novel that I think has some middle grade crossover. Though it’s largely a romance, this story is one with a lot of kid appeal due to the author’s already popular middle grade series, The Witch Boy. I loved this story so much!

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The summary, from Amazon:

From the author of The Witch Boy trilogy comes a graphic novel about family, romance, and first love.


Fifteen-year-old Morgan has a secret: She can’t wait to escape the perfect little island where she lives. She’s desperate to finish high school and escape her sad divorced mom, her volatile little brother, and worst of all, her great group of friends…who don’t understand Morgan at all. Because really, Morgan’s biggest secret is that she has a lot of secrets, including the one about wanting to kiss another girl.Then one night, Morgan is saved from drowning by a mysterious girl named Keltie. The two become friends and suddenly life on the island doesn’t seem so stifling anymore.But Keltie has some secrets of her own. And as the girls start to fall in love, everything they’re each trying to hide will find its way to the surface…whether Morgan is ready or not.

Buy The Girl from the Sea here.

Molly Knox Ostertag’s art is familiar and fun. Morgan is 15 and wants nothing more than to leave her town. But then she meets a mysterious girl named Keltie. The two fall in love, but Morgan isn’t ready to share that she likes girls – especially considering the girl she loves is a selkie. One swoon-worthy quote that stuck out to me from The Girl from the Sea is:
“I want to be with you.”
“But all your plans. I’ll ruin them, you know I will.”
“Then they were the wrong plans.”
While the storyline is heavily romantic, the author already has middle grade fans. Furthermore, the romance is very PG, even if there’s kissing very early on in the relationship. I think a romantic storyline, especially featuring a LGBTQ+ relationship so positively, can be appropriate for middle grade. Nonetheless, this book has definite YA appeal. Overall, it was 5 stars for me. Totally fun and romantic!

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The Girl from the Sea: A Graphic NovelThe Girl from the Sea: A Graphic Novel by Molly Ostertag
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a great story. Teen characters and a very romantic storyline, but I think middle grade fans of the author and middle grade readers who enjoy a little romance or are looking for positive LGBTQ+ representation will love this too.

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Book Club Questions

  1. Why does Morgan want to keep her relationship with Keltie a secret?
  2. What are some things Morgan is struggling with?
  3. Is Morgan a good friend? Are her friends good to her?

Interested? Buy The Girl from the Sea.
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