Title: SECRETS OF TOPSEA, BOOK 2: THE EXTREMELY HIGH TIDE!
Author: Kir Fox & M Shelley Coats
Pub. Date: January 8, 2019
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
Find it: Goodreads, Amazon, B&N, iBooks, TBD
Talise knows more about the ocean than any kid in Topsea. Any adult, too. As the best-and only-bathymetrist in Topsea, Talise is able to predict important things about the sea, like the next tide (Severely Low with a threat of Wildcard) or the arrival of Seaweed Season. What she can’t predict, however, are her classmates’ behaviors. Sometimes it’s as if they’re speaking different languages.
When Talise discovers a mysterious message in a bottle, her classmates believe it must have been sent by someone stranded on a deserted island. (Not to be confused with a dessert island.) But Talise is convinced the message is meant for her. And it’s telling her to build a boat.
Everyone seems to think Talise is just being silly. Even Talise isn’t exactly sure why she has to build the boat. And who keeps sending those strange messages in a bottle, anyway? All Talise knows is that she’d better finish building her boat fast, because an Extremely High Tide is coming?
Typically, Talise spent Saturday mornings with the ocean.
Sometimes she studied tides or examined tide pools. Other times, she put on her wet suit and flippers and buoyancy vest and everything else, and went for a dive in the deep sea—just not the deep-deep sea, since she wasn’t allowed to dive that deep without a buddy.
But the ocean had told Talise to build a boat. So today, she wanted to go to the boat supply shop.
First, Talise had to ask her parents. Fortunately, she was quite fluent in their dialect: Loving/Concerned, usually with a dash of Mystified. She started with her mother, who worked as a consultant. That meant people paid her for expert advice.
“I have never built a boat before, and I am feeling apprehensive,” Talise said. “I would like to consult an expert.”
She turned to her father, who worked as a controller. That meant he controlled…Talise wasn’t entirely sure.
“I think that will help me take control of the situation,” she continued. “Along with some boatbuilding supplies, of course. I’ll just need you to accompany me with your credit card—”
“Talise,” her mom said. She had white skin and dark blond hair. “But we had something else in mind for today.”
“We know you’ve been spending a lot of time by yourself lately,” Talise’s father said. He had dark brown skin and black hair.
“Lately?” Talise repeated.
“Especially since Clara is visiting Puerto Rico for the next few weeks,” her mother said. “So we arranged for you to spend the day with Runa!”
Perhaps Talise looked as upset on the outside as she felt on the inside, because her father patted her shoulder. “She’ll meet you at the pier. I’m sure you’ll have a great time!”
Talise was not so sure.
She squeezed her sea blob as she walked to the beach. She’d really been looking forward to visiting the boat supply shop! Or at the very least, spending more time with her boat schematic. Instead, she was stuck with Runa, the kid Talise had the least in common with.
“She wouldn’t be interested in boat supplies,” Talise muttered.
The air was approximately 71 degrees Fahrenheit, while the ocean was closer to 58 degrees. She’d nearly reached the endless pier when something caught her eye. Her feet tripped, her heart skipped, and she stumbled to a halt, staring at the familiar collection of odd bubbles.
Wiggling her fingers, Talise stuck her hand into the pleasantly mucky sand and grabbed something hard. She wrapped her fingers around it and tugged.
It was another bottle, even crustier that the first one. Talise pulled out the cork and coughed at the musty smell. She shook out a rolled-up piece of very thin paper, or maybe it was tree bark.
The ocean had sent her another message!
Courtesy of the Town Committee for Dental and Coastal Hygiene
What’s even better than beachcombing for seashells? Beachbrushing … for teeth!
Teeth are a very important part of your skeleton. They’re also fun to collect. Here are some of the types of teeth you might find on Topsea’s beaches.
Buckteeth: fun for parties
Sweet teeth: do not eat
Barnacles: these might look like teeth, but they are not actually teeth
Horns: also not teeth
Tusks: also not—wait, these are in fact teeth
Molars: for chewing
Elongated molars: longer than necessary, nobody knows why
Narwhal tusks: fancy sorts of teeth that are often mistaken for unicorn horns; one belongs to a magical animal, the other grows out of a horse’s forehead
Saber teeth: these teeth are extinct
Snapped-off fangs: sharp, pointy, mean-spirited, mostly useless
Oolong: this is a type of tea, not teeth
Canines: whimsically named after mythological creatures
Beaks: not teeth—or are they?
Wisdom teeth: these teeth are quite valuable
Baleen: these teeth are a trap
There are many places to display your teeth collection: on your windowsill, under your bed, in a heavy-duty safe. Don’t forget to floss!
Note: if you ever find a rubber duck with teeth … we don’t know what to tell you.
About The Authors:
Kir Fox (Kirsten Hubbard) and M. Shelley Coats (Michelle Schusterman) are great friends, longtime critique partners and ardent consumers of the strange and unusual.
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3 winners will receive a finished copy of SECRETS OF TOPSEA, BOOK 2: THE EXTREMELY HIGH TIDE!, US Only.
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