Willow Croft’s Review of The Old One and the Sea by Lex H. Jones
This book is for the kids who wished for that one special friend.
Some friend who wasn’t imaginary, but different enough as to seem to be from another world.
A magic world.
A world deep under the sea.
Or even from a world way out in space.
It didn’t matter where.
Only in finding that one true friend who taught them they weren’t alone in this world. And this little void inside that whispered to them they would never fit in; never find a place in this world, would be filled. Filled with love.
And that friend would show them that even this boring too-real world could still hold mysteries and miracles, and a safe place where kindness would win out over cruelty and hate.
In that light, the Old One and the Sea reminded me of what it was to be that kid. It took me right back to a time when the world was confusing and scary and so, so lonely; a place where only my imagination made this world bearable and filled with impossible possibilities.
But, unlike me, and so many other once-children out there, this kid—Howie is his name—discovers the impossible is real when the stars have changed.
And through those fantastical moments spent with what the majority of the world sees as a monster, he is given a gift. The gift of who Howie is meant to be. And while Howie is protecting the monster with his words, his mother Sarah is protecting and nourishing Howie’s newfound gift with her own version of love and kindness.
And that’s enough to break the reader’s heart with the memory of that little hope for something more in this world.
And it’s my hope, now, the children that read this tale will hold onto their own dream of magic made real, with all their love and heart and soul.
Before it’s too late for them, and this world.
Until then, I’m going to recommend Jones’ The Old One and the Sea to everyone I know at/from the day job: fellow teachers, students’ parents, school librarians.