Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Sea Change

Viva, Frank (Author/Illustrator)
Toon Books 2016. 118 pages
First published: 2016
ISBN: 9781935179924 (hardcover)
Original language: English
Book type: Graphic Text
Book genre: Realistic

Text Elements:

character, structures and features

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

Eliot is mortified when he is sent to stay at his Uncle Earl’s in Nova Scotia for the summer. The house is rustic, with a shaggy dog, musty rooms and stained teacups. Worse, Eliot has to get up before dawn to help his uncle on his fishing boat. At first, everything is painfully new and challenging, but Eliot meets the neighbourhood kids, falls in love with Mary Beth and learns to love the rugged land and its people.

Eliot is questioning and sensitive, as reflected in the first-person narrative: “Was it possible that a girl like Mary Beth could like a boy like me? Maybe she was just being nice and didn’t really like me in a girlfriend-boyfriend way.”

The accompanying illustrations are abstract and two-dimensional. The characters have dark pink skin with minimal facial features. Often, the text appears like a concrete poem, on a slant or running vertically. One page reads: “we pulled all the traps into the boat and piled them in a giant pyramid on the stern,” with an image that shows Mister McGillivery struggling to balance the text, which is arranged in a pyramid shape.

When Mary Beth reveals that her father physically beats her, and asks Eliot to say nothing, he is faced with a moral dilemma: to tell or not to tell. In the end, Uncle Earl turns out to be a thoughtful, empathetic man. “Maybe I’ll have a kid of my own one day,” Eliot muses on the plane ride home. “If I do, I’ll ship him off to Point Aconi for the summer.”

  •  Discuss what it would be like to be uprooted from your family and friends, to be sent to another part of the country to spend the summer with strangers.
  •  

    Draw up a list of the items you would bring if you left for the summer. Select the most important items and explain why you chose them.

  •  

    Viva uses structures and features of text to compliment the written and visual text. Describe the impact of his visual lyricism. Try your hand at imitating his style when responding.

  •  

    The main character is threatened repeatedly by Donnie, yet he recommends that Uncle Earl hire him as a deckhand. Explain how it is possible for a person to change their point of view so significantly.

  • To construct his/her identity
  • Citizenship and Community Life
  • Health and Well-Being
  • Ethics and Religious Culture