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The House on Sunrise Lagoon: Marina in the Middle

By Nicole Melleby

Return to Sunrise Lagoon in this warmhearted sequel, which finds anxious middle child Marina making waves on her journey to trusting herself.

If you want to get to know Marina Ali-O'Connor, you need to know three things:

One, despite her name, Marina is secretly afraid of the water.

Two, she wanted to be one of the Oldest Siblings, but is stuck smack dab in the middle.

Three, she's pretty certain she's the Extra Ali-O'Connor kid—the forgotten one.

When Boom, a budding filmmaker exactly Marina's age, moves in across the lagoon, she decides that Marina's quest to become someone's favorite Ali-O'Connor would make a perfect documentary. But when each plan goes a little bit wrong, Marina begins to wonder if she'll ever feel like she belongs, or if she'll always be lost in the middle.

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Meet the Author
Nicole Melleby headshot

Nicole Melleby

More about the author
Review quotes
Praise for The Science of Being Angry:
"This emotional read shows the power of friendship and family without omitting the work that goes into loving someone."
— Booklist, starred review
"A strong recommendation for readers who enjoy contemplative, character-driven stories like those by Ashley Herring Blake."
— School Library Journal, starred review
Praise for How to Become a Planet:
"Sprinkled with astronomy-related metaphors related to a planet’s properties, this acutely observed, authentically told tale by Melleby thoughtfully portrays Pluto’s relationship with her worried single mother, the girl’s urgent desire to 'be fixed,' and her intense—and at times overpowering—depressive episodes."
— Publishers Weekly, starred review
"A raw yet honest portrayal of a young person’s experience with depression, this is a must-read for both middle grade readers and the teachers, counselors, parents, and other adults who interact daily with youth undergoing similar experiences."
— School Library Journal, starred review
Praise for In the Role of Brie Hutchens. . .:
"This funny, tender, and heart-wrenching story will have readers calling for an encore."
— Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"Melleby paints Brie as a recognizable teen. . . Wrenching and genuine."
— Publishers Weekly, starred review
Praise for Hurricane Season:
"Melleby deftly tackles weighty topics—mental illness, child protective services, single parenting, sexuality—while effortlessly weaving in elements of the life and works of Vincent van Gogh, creating a thoughtful, age-appropriate and impressive novel."
— Shelf Awareness, starred review
"Melleby’s debut offers a tender, earnest portrait of a daughter searching for constancy while negotiating her father’s sickness and the social challenges of tween girlhood, including her first crush on a girl."
— Publishers Weekly, starred review
Product Details
Age range
8 - 12
Grade range
3 - 7
The House on Sunrise Lagoon
Number of pages
Publication date
May 09, 2023