We meet Erin Pike as she gazes into the water at the end of a jetty. She longs to venture out to sea, but hasn’t because of the legend of Black Rock. She’s tried on many occasion, hiding away on her mother’s fishing boat, but she’s always sniffed out by their dog Archie and taken home. Black Rock is dangerous, as big as a mountain, as sharp as a swordfish, and it moves around the ocean! It moves?!
Black Rock is alive and the home of many beautiful sea creature. Erin discovers this after tricking Archie’s nose and accidentally falling from her mother’s boat into the sea. Her determination gets her back home again, and save Black Rock from the metal claws and drills controlled by those who want to take the rock apart piece by piece.
The Secret of Black Rock is layered with meaning. It highlights the impact we have on our environment and how dangerous it is if we are misinformed, uneducated, too quick to jump to conclusion, have a destructive attitude. It also calls attention to looking beneath the surface. Above water level, Black Rock is rough at the edges, but below the water she’s lively, significant, of great worth. Looking for the beauty within is always a message that merits repetition.
Now we’ve come to my favourite part—the illustrations. They are distinctive and remarkable. A new world opens up before your very eyes, and Erin is at the very centre of this world in her bright yellow rain jacket. We’re drawn to her on every page, even on those pages where she’s tiny compared to Black Rock and the large ships. This is indicative of her bold, courageous personality. She’s a mighty girl with an adventurous heart, a curious mind, and who fights for what’s fair and right.