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The House on Sunrise Lagoon: Sam Makes a Splash

By Nicole Melleby

From acclaimed author Nicole Melleby comes a cheerful, uplifting story of family and belonging, the first in new series perfect for fans of the Vanderbeekers and the Penderwicks.

If you want to get to know eleven-year-old Samantha Ali-O’Connor, you need to know three things:

One, she isn’t the only one of her siblings who is adopted, but she is the only one whose name isn't inspired by the ocean.

Two, she and Harbor always compete with each other to be the best Oldest Sibling—and just about everything else.

And three, she is determined to prove she's a real Ali-O'Connor by taking over the family business, repairing and chartering boats.

Except there's a Capital-P Problem: Her mothers have been Serious Whispering about selling the business before summer's end! Sam needs to come up with a plan, quick, before Harbor finds out. And before Sam loses her chance to inherit the business and be an Ali-O'Connor forever. 

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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