Fish Girl – Graphic Novel

fish girlFish Girl by Donna Jo Napoli

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Raincoast Books
First Published: March 7th, 2017
Publisher: Clarion Books
Recommended Age: 10+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Graphic Novel, Middle Grade, Fantasy, Friendship, Abuse, Mermaids


Who is Fish Girl?
What is Fish Girl?

She lives in a tank in a boardwalk aquarium. She is the main attraction, though visitors never get more than a glimpse of her.

She has a tail. She can’t walk. She can’t speak.

But she can make friends with Livia, an ordinary girl, and yearn for a life that includes yoga and pizza. She can grow stronger and braver. With determination, a touch of magic, and the help of a loyal octopus, she can do anything.


*This is my 1000th Goodreads review! Whoohoo!*

There is a mermaid imprisoned inside a house by a self-proclaimed Zeus. Every day, she plays with the visitors who come in the hope of getting a glimpse of her.

The mermaid does not realize something is wrong with the way she is living her childhood—does she even have one?—until a girl her age opens her eyes to her own situation.

fish girl picture

This is a beautiful story. The narration is in short supply and simple… Not exactly poetic, though it is fitting for a middle grade story. The beauty of the story, however, lies in the images, which are detailed, colorful and realistic.

Although I’m tempted to question how the mermaid could possibly have lived this long without having wondered once about the mechanisms of her own home and the very person who keeps her there.

But at the same time, she is a captive who got attached to the person she doesn’t yet know is her captor. It is not easy to recognize abuse in our personal lives. Sometimes it does take an exterior source to help us become aware.

Romanticized themes? True. Important story? More than true.

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