9 Best Books About Selkies Update 05/2022

It might be interesting to you if books about mermaids aren’t your thing and you’re looking for something a little more earthy. You might be interested in selkie mythology. For people who don’t know, selkies come from Scottish folklore, especially from the Northern Isles of Orkney and Shetland, where they live. Selkies are a type of mythical creature that can change from being a seal to being a human. They can also change back and forth. In many stories about selkies, a woman selkie loses her pelt to a man of the land. Because she can’t find her fur, she can’t return to her seal form and her home in the sea. When this happens, she is stuck with him for as long as she can’t find her fur. These six young adult books about selkies take readers to stormy seaside towns, sparkling ocean depths, and dangerous rocky crags, where they can meet selkies.

It’s important to point out that young adult books about selkies written by authors of color aren’t very common. This is mostly because of the Scottish roots of selkie lore. There are so many myths and stories out there. I’d like to see other cultures add their own twist to this one. There are other stories about seals, like in The Boy Who Lived with the Seals. People who write about seals, which are also called Pinnipedia, can find a lot of material to work with. I, for one, would love to see a Japanese interpretation of selkies.

Excellent YA Books About Selkies

Seven Tears into the Sea by Terri Farley

It has been a long time since Gwen has been back in the town where she lived as a child. At the age of 10, something weird happened there. Her grandmother wants Gwen back so that she can help her when she gets better from an injury, but Gwen thinks the sea might be making her want to come back, too. Back in the seaside village, Gwen has to face the truth of her childhood memory and the boy who will tell her what happened all those years ago when she was little. As a child, this was the first book I read about selkies. From the start, I loved the stories.

The Brides of Rollrock Island by Margo Lanagan

There is no place like Rollrock Island, where magic brings girls from the water and the men on land make them their wives. There is no place like this. Tied to their husbands, girls have very little freedom. The men, too, have to pay for being trapped by the girls in another way. She is determined to get what she is owed, but it isn’t clear if she will be able to get it through the generations.

Tides by Betsy Cornwell

As siblings with different hearts plan to spend the summer with their grandmother, they don’t know what they’ll do. After Noah tries to save a girl who looks like she’s drowning, the summer is thrown into the rough waves of the ocean. A brother and sister relationship is the focus of Tides, which is also about the myth of the selkie. It is set in Scotland, where there are many stories about the myth.

Selkie Girl by Laurie Brooks

Most of the people Elin Jean knows aren’t as kind as she is. It’s hard for her to stomach the annual killing of seal pups. When even the town’s outcasts get along better than she does, something must be very different about her. Everything comes to the surface when Elin Jean learns that her mother, Margaret, has been held captive by her father for the last 16 years because of the magic of Margaret’s seal skin. Margaret has been hidden away from Elin Jean to keep her tied to her father. She has to face the fact that she is who she is and the person God made her to be. Selkie Girl is one of the best YA books about selkies for young people who are just beginning to read.

The Little Selkie by K.M. Shea

This book is about Dylan, a sea witch who takes Dylan’s pelt after she asks for it. Dylan has to obey the sea witch because the sea witch wants to keep Dylan’s pelt. With the witch in charge of Dylan’s water magic, she also wants to take her voice. If they can fight the sea witch and get Dylan back home, will she want to go back to her life under the sea? Then, she meets Prince Callan, who might be able to help.

The Sealwoman’s Gift by Sally Magnussun

In The Sealwoman’s Gift by Sally Magnussun, the gift of the title is a story. It was given to the author during a terrifying journey after hundreds of Icelandic people were taken from their home in the seventeenth century. The idea that the story is based on real events makes you wonder, in the same way that you wonder about the hidden truths in folk tales.

Orkney, by Amy Sackville

If you read Amy Sackville’s book Orkney, you’ll learn about a university lecturer who falls in love with one of his students, who is 40 years younger than him. They spend their honeymoon in Orkney, where the legends of selkies make him more desperate to find her.

The Mermaid of Black Conch by Monique Roffey

For this book, Monique Roffey tells the story of a half-fish half-woman who was caught and strung up by a group of sailors who wanted to look good. The book is called The Mermaid of Black Conch. In the beginning, she is a very different person after David rescues her. It is both heartbreaking and beautiful at the same time.

The Silver Dark Sea by Susan Fletcher

Fletcher plays with the idea that stories can be read in many different ways in The Silver Dark Sea. If you read Fletcher’s mythical hymn to the stories and folklore of a small island community, you’ll see that it takes into account people who believe and people who don’t, and it still manages to enchant everyone.

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