Melissa Sarno's new middle-grade book is 'A Swirl of Ocean'

Melissa Sarno
Melissa Sarno
Published Aug. 15, 2019

We recently spoke by phone with middle-grade author Melissa Sarno. Her new book, A Swirl of Ocean, transports kids of all ages to Barnes Bluff, where residents are seeing the end of the beloved summer season. It's told through the eyes of a 12-year-old coincidentally named Summer. Sarno, 38, realized she wanted to be a writer at age 7, and she now enjoys most of all presenting stories for youth with "a hint of magic,'' she said. "I think sort of mystical and magical things happen in real life, and so I like the idea of having that in my work."

What's on your nightstand?

I just finished Laura Tucker's All the Greys on Green Street. It is a beautiful book taking place in the 1980s in Soho. It's about a young girl grappling with her father, who has disappeared, and a mother dealing with depression. She thinks a painting is wrapped up in her father's disappearance. I also have Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga ready to go. It is about a Syrian refugee, and it is told in verse. I had heard good things, and it was timely. I'm interested in the idea of losing and finding home. I think that's what drew me to the book.