The House on Sunrise Lagoon: Marina in the Middle (Paperback)

The House on Sunrise Lagoon: Marina in the Middle By Nicole Melleby Cover Image
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Other Books in Series

This is book number 2 in the The House on Sunrise Lagoon series.


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.

About the Author

Nicole Melleby, a New Jersey native, is the author of highly praised middle-grade books, including the Lambda Literary finalist Hurricane Season, ALA Notable book How to Become a Planet, Camp QUILTBAG (co-written with A. J. Sass), and The House on Sunrise Lagoon series. She's also the author of Sunny and Oswaldo, her debut picture book. She lives with her wife and their cats, whose need for attention oddly aligns with Nicole’s writing schedule. Visit her online at

Praise For…

“This second series installment focuses on symptoms of severe anxiety emerging within a loving support network. Readers will appreciate the boisterous family dynamics and thoughtful treatment of mental health concerns. Entertaining and satisfying.”

Kirkus Reviews

Praise for The House on Sunrise Lagoon: Sam Makes a Splash

"Moments of madcap humor and familial warmth characterize this emotionally generous summer tale from Melleby, which showcases the author’s command of fully realized characterization and distinct relationship dynamics.”—Publishers Weekly

“Layered family dynamics run through the heart of this character-driven story in which the love and devotion shared are as sure as the tides… An enjoyable and heartwarming read.”
 —Kirkus Reviews

“The Ali-O'Connors are an appealing bunch, each with their own quirks and foibles. The rivalry between Sam (who is adopted) and slightly older sister Harbor (Mom's biological child) is both believable and heart-wrenching at times; Marina (also adopted) is book-loving and reserved; and younger twins Cordelia and Lir (Mama's biological children) add humorous, relatable moments to the story. Perhaps most heartwarming is the tentative alliance that develops between Sam and Harbor as they team up to help Mom.”—Booklist

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
ISBN: 9781523523801
ISBN-10: 1523523808
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Publication Date: May 9th, 2023
Pages: 224
Language: English
Series: The House on Sunrise Lagoon