Mermaid School

Amulet. Feb. 2020. 128p. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9781419745188; pap. $6.99. ISBN 9781419745195.
Gr 2-4–Marnie Blue is nervous for her first day at Lady Sealia Foam’s Mermaid School. On top of the usual first-day jitters, Marnie is worried everyone will find out her aunt is Christabel Blue, the famous singer and former school troublemaker. Marnie gets herself in trouble during a failed attempt at completing a dare by classmate Orla. Marnie learns Orla’s grudge has to do with three things: Marnie’s aunt; Orla’s sister; and a promise to play a demo tape on the air of Christabel’s radio show. When Orla’s sister disappears in a hurricane and Orla leaves out of anger and frustration, Marnie puts their differences aside, borrows a school seahorse, and goes out to look for Orla. All’s well that ends well in this tale of friendship, bravery, and doing what is right. Courtenay weaves many sea references and a few factual details into the fictional narrative, while Dempsey’s charming illustrations help to bring the characters to life.
VERDICT This first installment of the “Mermaid School” series is a fun addition to any collection for young patrons who love mermaid tales and books about friendship.

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