For as long as she can remember, twelve-year-old Emily Windsnap has lived on a boat. And, oddly enough, for just as long, her mother has seemed anxious to keep her away from the water. But when Mom finally agrees to let her take swimming lessons, Emily makes a startling discovery - about her own identity, the mysterious father she's never met, and the thrilling possibilities and perils shimmering deep below the water's surface. With a sure sense of suspense and richly imaginative details, Liz Kessler lures us into a glorious undersea world where mermaids study shipwrecks at school and Neptune rules with an iron trident - an enchanting fantasy about family secrets, loyal friendship, and the convention-defying power of love.
Pre-teen girls will likely bite at this novel's tempting bait, offered in the opening lines: "Can you keep a secret? Everybody has secrets, of course, but mine's different." Emily Windsnap, who narrates, is half-mermaid, as she discovers, inconveniently, in her seventh-grade swim class. Despite never having had a lesson, she takes to the water like, well, a fish. Before Emily's first kick turn she feels her legs melding into a tail. She hops out of the water before she can be branded a freak, but she's hooked. At night, she sneaks from the boat where she lives with her mother to explore the undersea world, and unravel the mystery of her genetics which involves her long-missing, never-discussed father. Newcomer Kessler anchors her fantasy in the nitty-gritty of adolescence: Emily bests a bully who comes close to guessing her secret, and she finds a best friend in Shona, a mermaid she meets during her nightly swims. Coincidences drive the plot Shona has recently studied illegal mermaid-human marriages in school; a creepy lightkeeper drops a key that unlocks a treasure chest containing a file spelling out the entire backstory. The jewel-toned jacket art and ink-wash illustrations sprinkled throughout add girlish charm to an imaginative story. Ages 8-12.
Awesome Story Starter
I remember my cousin giving me this book a few years ago. I ended up not picking it up and reading, and donated it. After it said that this book was free and I didn’t have anything to read, I got it. OH MY GOSH! I am so glad that I got this book again. I enjoyed her playful relationship with her friends, and her finding out how come her mother hated the water, even though her mom couldn’t place why. All in all, this is a very well written book full of twists.
Great book! 10 stars
Very fun adventure. Nice for older children. If there was ten stars I would give this book ten stars.
The tail of Emily Windsnap
I'm reading this book, and I love it.