Book Tour: A Friendly Town That’s Almost Always by the Ocean

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Have you ever wanted to visit a town that was different from anywhere else? Welcome to TopSea: A Friendly Town That’s Almost Always by the Ocean. A new book by authors Kir Fox and M. Shelley Coats. I received a copy of the book in exchange for my honest thoughts. 

Secrets of TopSea: A Friendly Town That's Almost Always By the Ocean

About A Friendly Town That’s Almost Always by the Ocean

Welcome to Topsea, the strangest place you’ll ever visit. In this town, the coves are bottomless and the pier has no end in sight. THere’s a high tide and a low tide … and a vanishing tide. Dogs are a myth, but mermaids are totally real. ANd whatever you do, don’t make eye contact with the rubber ducks!

New kid Davy definitely thinks Topsea is strange. His mom keeps saying they’ll get used to life in their new town – it’s just the way things are on the coast! But after his first day at Topsea School, Davy finds himself wondering: Why is his locker all the way at the bottom of the school swimming pool? Why can’t anyone remember his name? (It’s DAVY!) And why does everyone act like all of this is normal?!

About The Authors: Kir Fox and M. Shelley Coats

Authors Kir Fox and M. Shelley Coats Kir Fox (Kirsten Hubbard) and M. Shelley Coats (Michelle Schusterman) are great friends, longtime critique partners, and ardent consumers of the strange and unusual. 

Kirsten is the author of the middle-grade novels Watch the Sky and Race the Night (Disney-Hyperion), and the young adult novels Like Mandarin and Wanderlove (Delacorte Press/Random House Children’s Books). She lives in Los Angeles. 

Michelle is the author of the middle-grade series I  Heart Band and the Kat Sinclair Files (Grosset/Penguin), and the middle-grade novels Olive and the Backstage Ghost and the forthcoming Spell & Spindle (Random House Children’s Books). She is also the coauthor of the YA novel The Pros of Cons (Scholastic). She lives in New York City.

My Thoughts on A Friendly Town That’s Almost Always by the Ocean


Do you remember reading Sideways Stories of Wayside School as a kid? Well, get ready for more odd tales, weird mannerisms, and a town that thinks it’s all perfectly normal. I actually read Sideways Stories to my kids last year, and they thought it was a hoot. Now I can share a new book with them, following the same concept of short stories all taking place in the same abnormal – or is it? – town.

A Friendly Town That’s Almost Always by the Ocean is reminiscent of those days of childhood oddity. I was drawn originally by the title of this middle-grade novel. How can a town be almost always by an ocean? This book has not disappointed. I love that this book does have an underlying plot following new kid Davy as he tried to adjust to his new town. 

Along with the short stories – news articles, PTA (picky troglodyte association) flyers, student surveys, and excerpts from other books are scattered between the chapters. This set up is enjoyable and a fun break to the stories, that only enhances the experience of the reader. 


3 thoughts on “Book Tour: A Friendly Town That’s Almost Always by the Ocean

  1. My last tour was to San Francisco. I had been planning to visit this city for a long time, but it never worked out. But this spring, my friend and I got together and flew there for a few days. Before the trip, we decided for sure that we would travel by car, so we rented a car on and booked a hotel. In the city, we liked the Golden Gate Bridge, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and Twin Peaks Mountain, which offers incredible views.

  2. Your review perfectly captures the quirky and whimsical nature of “A Friendly Town That’s Almost Always by the Ocean.” It seems like a delightful middle-grade novel with an intriguing blend of odd tales and a unique setting. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on it!

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