The Ocean Within
Young Readers

The Ocean Within

“A moving story of change.” —CHILDREN’S BOOKWATCH
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Elizabeth is the newest member of the big and boisterous Sheridan family. They try to make her feel at home, but Elizabeth stays apart. She knows from previous experience in foster homes that one day she’ll be sent away.

As the story opens, all the Sheridan kids are headed to the beach for a vacation at their grandmother’s house. Elizabeth secretly looks forward to fulfilling one of her private dreams: to see the ocean. The Sheridans, on the other hand, are just too much—too prone to hugging, too loud, too enthusiastic. Only Petey, the youngest boy, is not overwhelming to be with.

Pretty soon Elizabeth has found a favorite perch overlooking the water. But her attitude threatens to ruin everyone’s vacation. It’s only a matter of time before a showdown between Elizabeth and the grandma she calls “Iron Woman” ensues. Who will win?

Publish Date
5.63 × 8.19 × 1.06 in
11.7 oz

Praise and Prizes

  • “This book of hope and empathy—a book crying to be read—tells the story of eleven-year-old Elizabeth, who has been tossed from one foster home to another… . Well written with characters who are fully developed and believable, this book covers topics that will touch the hearts of many young readers—foster care, adoption, anger, and love.”

  • “A story that is simultaneously high-minded and intensely emotional … V. M. Caldwell is perceptive both about Elizabeth’s guardedness and her genuine discomfort with her boisterous new family.”

    Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
  • “A finely crafted first novel that looks at family and new opportunities from the perspectives of a foster child … Absorbed young readers will find they are holding their breath at the end.”

  • “An insightful story filled with all of the mundane details that make a novel rich and real.”

    School Library Journal
  • “A moving story of change … V. M. Caldwell’s striking writing style emphasizes the emotions of young Elizabeth.”

    Children’s Bookwatch
  • V. M. Caldwell does an excellent job of sharing the inner thoughts, struggles, and triumphs of a child who has been orphaned and moved from home to home… . The Ocean Within is a book that will give the reader an understanding of family togetherness and acceptance of those who are different.”

    Christian Library Services