Returning to the beach cottage—a cottage named Scallop—where she has always celebrated her birthday is a special occasion for Alice Rice.
Who will see the first dolphin this time? The first pelican? What will have changed? Stayed the same? And will this be the year she finally finds a junonia shell?
Alice's friends are all returning, too. And she's certain her parents have the best party planned for her. Alice can't wait. If Alice is lucky, everything will be absolutely perfect. Will Alice be lucky?
“Alice balances between familiarity and novelty, coziness and independence, self-centeredness and altruismthe balance beam of turning ten. . . . A fully realized, respectful portrait of a childhood milestone.”
“Henkes knows that Alice, like many girls her age, carries plenty of things in her mindand her heartthat she seldom speaks of. She mulls them over privately, and in Henkes’s hands, eloquently.”
“In this introspective story about a child’s search for a rare shell, Henkes again displays his ability to find profound meaning in ordinary events. . . . Readers will empathize with Alice’s frustrations and relish her moments of joy.”
“Very few writers have such a keen understanding of the emotional lives of children; here Henkes is at the top of his game.”
“With tender observations and sensory details, Henkes creates a memorable young individual whose arcadian growing up is authentic and pitch-perfect.”