The Tail of Emily Windsnap by Liz Kessler
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
First Published: 2003
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 7+
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Family, Mermaids
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.
Emily Windsnap’s life changes in a split second during swim practice.
You see, she’s a mermaid. But she had no idea. And when she discovers the truth, she opens herself to a whole new world of uncertainties and secrets waiting to be discovered.
Such as, where is her father? Why did he leave her? Was it even his choice?
Emily is a lot like the heroine from HAVE YOU SEEN JESSICA JENKINS? from the same author. She’s energetic, curious, courageous and adventurous. They also have the same voice.
I liked her of course. She’s a great kid whose life is complicated. I prefer that to a heroine with a seemingly perfect life. Boring and unrealistic. Challenges must be faced and Emily is just the right girl to spark a revolution.
The world-building is extremely underdeveloped. So underdeveloped I could basically say that there isn’t any. We’ve been introduced to few mermaids and got to know only one. I hope the next books will show more of the mermaid’s life because fantasy books need showing, not simply telling. And structure obviously but that hasn’t been a problem so far.
It’s a charming book though. Predictable to the reader—they know more than the heroine at all times—which in this case is unfortunate, but once again I anticipate creativity and mystery in the sequels.
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