The Washington Center for the Book (WCB), a partnership of The Seattle Public Library and the Washington State Library, has selected Washington author Christine Day’s “The Sea in Winter” to represent Washington state at the 2021 National Book Festival, sponsored by the Library of Congress.

Day’s middle grade novel (for ages 8 to 12) will be part of the “Great Reads from Great Places” program put together by the National Center for the Book, and the author will appear in conversation with children’s and teen book authors from other states.

This year's National Book Festival will be Sept. 17-26, with 10 days of virtual programs celebrating books and authors. The Great Places, Great Reads program features books and authors representing the literary heritage of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

During the virtual festival, Day will be part of an online conversation with authors from Nevada (Ellen Hopkins), Rhode Island (Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie), Virginia (Nonieqa Ramos), and Wisconsin (Cathy Camper) that will be available beginning Sept. 17, 2021.


“The Sea in Winter” is an evocative and heartwarming novel about a Native American girl struggling to find her joy again. Maisie, who is Makah and Piscataway, is a passionate ballet dancer with a knee injury that’s taking her away from her friends and the things she loves best. Maisie’s anxieties and dark moods start to hurt as much as the pain in her knee. How can she keep pretending to be strong when on the inside she feels as roiling and cold as the ocean? A family trip to Washington state’s Olympic Peninsula leads Maisie to explore more about her Makah ancestors, community, family, and friends.

Publishers Weekly said “The Sea in Winter” is “a contemplative and emotional story of resilience and reinvention whose dedication sums it up well: ‘To Anyone who needs a reminder that pain is temporary.’” The book is a Junior Library Guild selection and was an Indie Kids’ Next List selection for independent book stores.


Christine Day (Upper Skagit) grew up in Seattle, nestled between the sea, the mountains, and the pages of her favorite books. Her debut novel, “I Can Make This Promise,” was a best book of the year from Kirkus, School Library Journal, NPR, and the Chicago Public Library, as well as a Charlotte Huck Award Honor Book, and an American Indian Youth Literature Award Honor Book. “The Sea in Winter,” published in 2021 by Heartdrum/Harper Collins, is her second novel. Her third book, “She Persisted: Maria Tallchief,” will be published in November 2021 by Philomel Books.

Find more about Christine Day and the National Book Festival, as well as materials for educators and young readers, here:


WCB is a partnership of the Washington State Library, a division of the Office of the Secretary of State, and The Seattle Public Library. It is a state affiliate of the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress. WCB promotes literacy and a love of books, reading and libraries throughout the state, celebrating Washington’s robust literary heritage. Sara Peté of the Washington State Library and Linda Johns of The Seattle Public Library co-manager the Washington Center for the Book.

For more information, visit Washington Center for the Book, call the Library at 206-386-4636 or Ask Us.