This blend of historical fiction and selkie mythology packs a punch even greater than its cinematic adaptation, John Sayles’s film The Secret of Roan Inish. Young Fiona McConville has returned to the small cluster of Scottish islands to stay with her grandparents. When she sees Jamie—her younger brother who was lost at sea years before—alive and running about the abandoned island of Ron Mor, she is determined to reconnect with him. In language both poetic and practical, Fry captures the mystery and magic of the sea and the voice of the Scottish fishing families who call it home. Perfect for fans of Anne of Green Gables or Sarah, Plain and Tall. Ages 8–11.
Fiona McConville is a child of the Western Isles, living on the Scottish mainland. City life doesn’t suit Fiona and at age ten she is sent back to her beloved isles to live with her grandparents. There she learns more about her mother’s strange ways with the seals and seabirds; hears stories of the selkies, mythological creatures that are half seal and half human; and wonders about her baby brother, Jamie, who disappeared long ago but whom fishermen claim to have seen. Fiona is determined to find Jamie and enlists her cousin Rory to help. When her grandparents are suddenly threatened with eviction, Fiona and Rory go into action. Secret of the Ron Mor Skerry is a magical story of the power of place and family history, interwoven with Scottish folklore. Rosalie K. Fry’s novel, which was the basis for John Sayles’s classic 1994 film The Secret of Roan Inish, is back in print for the first time in decades.
About the Author
Rosalie Kingsmill Fry (1911–1992) was born on Vancouver Island, Canada, but moved to Swansea, Wales, with her family as a child. She trained as an artist at the Central School of Arts and Crafts in London and began writing stories in order to have material to accompany her illustrations. Bumblebuzz, her first book, came out in 1938. During the Second World War Fry served as a cypher officer in the Women’s Royal Naval Service, even as she continued to publish books for children. In addition to writing, she made toys, designed stationery, and contributed illustrations to various periodicals. A prolific and successful writer, Fry worked steadily until the 1970s, publishing more than thirty books over the course of her career. She lived most of her adult life in a cottage in the Welsh countryside.
"The setting is vividly evoked, and the fantasy elements are woven seamlessly into the homey details of domestic island life. Still fresh and immediate sixty years after its publication." —Martha V. Parravano, The Horn Book Magazine
“This exquisitely-written, mystical tale is unique, neither fact, nor pure fancy. As one young reader said, it could be true, but it really wasn’t. Maybe this is why it provokes deep afterthought, and wonder.” —The New York Times
“A poetic story which rests heavily on the folk traditions of the Western Isles and which contains much of that poetry of language and conception native to the traditional Scots.” —Kirkus Reviews