Third Grade Mermaid

illus. by Peter Raymundo. 208p. ebook available. Scholastic. Feb. 2017. Tr $12.99. ISBN 9780545918169.
Gr 2–4—Cora, a mermaid in the third grade, wants to be part of the Singing Sirens, but her failing spelling grade keeps her from the team. To help encourage Cora's writing and improve her spelling, Cora's mom buys her a diary, and Cora tells readers her story through her conversational entries. In her quest to regain her place with the Singing Sirens, Cora befriends a giant shrimp (made extra large by undersea toxic green sludge) and learns what real friendship is about. Nearly every page contains illustrations and dialogue. Combined with an easy-to-read typeface and short chapters, this may be a visually appealing choice for young independent readers looking to challenge themselves. But while mystical mermaids, talking sea creatures, and one big, mutated shrimp fill the pages, they are flat and predictable.
VERDICT A serviceable addition for collections in need of simple chapter books.

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