***This book was reviewed for Orca Books via Netgalley
**This book was translated from the original French by Sophie B Watson
Imarvaluk is a young Inupiat girl who tells her story of being forced to leave home because of a monster. In her native language, her name means ‘song of the waves’, and once she lived along the coast of Sarichef. But then the sea turned against the people. An invisible sea monster drove the Inupiat away from their wee island home of Sarichef, nestled in the Bering Sea. He has made traveling the once safe pack ice a dangerous endeavour.
Now, instead of the song of the sea, Imarvaluk is surrounded by fear of this creature who eats away at their island home. Even though houses have been moved to the interior of the island, soon that won’t even be enough. Her people will have to leave their ancestral island home. If they move to a city such as Nome, they are in danger of losing their traditions, and what makes them who they are.
The artwork of Wounded Island is just plain gorgeous. I loved the depiction of the invisible sea beastie as a human faced jellyfish creature. He was shown noshing on teeny Sarichef. This little book may be a children’s picture book, but it tells a terrifying, sad story. It is the story of fear of losing home and identity to invisible, implacable forces. It’s a wake-up to the dangers and full depth of devastation due to climate change.