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Swimming in the Monsoon Sea

Shyam Selvadurai's young adult novel is about a young boy growing up and exploring his identity in Sri Lanka.

Shyam Selvadurai

It's 1980, and 14-year-old Amrith lives with his aunt and uncle in Sri Lanka. His life is good, and he tries not to think about his past, before his mother died. But when his cousins unexpectedly arrive from Canada, his life becomes a monsoon — and things get even stormier and more confusing when he starts to fall in love with another boy. A touching story about first love and finding yourself.

Swimming in the Monsoon Sea is for readers ages 16 and up.

From the book

Amrith, reaching the top step to the terrace, paused for a moment and looked out over the rooftops toward the sea, visible through the palm fronds of coconut trees in the various gardens between his house and the beach. In the dawn light, bands of silver were appearing on the crests of the waves, as if a giant louver in the sky was opening up, one slat at a time. A breeze was coming up from the ocean, bringing a saltiness to his lips. Amrith could usually tell, by the sound of the waves against the sand, whether the tide was in or out. But this was a monsoon sea, wild and savage, and it had eaten up the beach. Even at low tide, the waves still crashed against the rocks that held them back from eroding the land.


From Swimming in the Monsoon Sea by Shyam Selvadurai ©2007. Published by Tundra Books.