Saturday, May 26, 2012

Real Mermaids Don't Wear Toe Rings by Helene Boudreau

Here is another book for my mermaid challenge.

Just in case you've forgotten it's lovely marvelous details or you want to play along you can find all the information you need by clicking on The 2012 MerBooks Mermaid Book Reading Challenge.

How could you not love a book that starts off with a girl getting her period while trying on swimsuits damaging the one she decides to buy and ends with a recipe for Chocolate Mug Cake (something I'm definitely going to try in the future)? The answer is that there is no possible way that you couldn't.

After Jade reaches puberty, things about her begin to change...a certain boy begins to notice her lovely wavy hair and curvy figure and one day in the bathtub she begins to notice that instead of feet she's sporting a shimmering blue-green tail.

I love the voice of Jade, she's sassy and quick-witted, just how I feel every middle grade school girl should be. She thinks she's too curvy (there's a whole scene with a tankini that is just too real and adorable), she thinks she's not beautiful (without wavy red hair, how could she be anything else?), and she is missing her mother, who drowned a year ago, more than anything.

But, is her mother really dead or is that her mother she hears calling her? Can she stand being part mermaid? Trying to find these answers means that she has to keep telling big lies to her best friend and it means that she could be putting herself into more danger than she realized.

The best part of this book is the fact that the mermaid stuff seems to be par for the course in Port Toulouse and the story isn't really about keeping the secret or finding her true love or identity, but in finding out what really happened to her mother.

What can I say? This book is cute and fun and light and fluffy. A perfect summer read for any girl age 9 to, um, 36.

Oh and book two just came out...yippers!

4 Stars   

Teacher Advisories
Sex 1/5 
I think there may be long look or two and a "kiss made of awesome"...seriously, I feel like a prude even giving this a one. A boy takes off his shoe to show a girl his webbed toes...Jade spends the first chapter talking about getting her period for the first time, no inappropriate words are used.
Language 0/5 
This book makes a point of making sure that 13 year old girls shouldn't even be saying the work "crap" and they really shouldn't should they.
Substance Abuses 0/5
Um, yep, I got nothin'...unless you count a crazy addiction to chocolate.
Violence 1/5
Jade's mother is kidnapped by some 'freshies' and forced to live in the area where the fresh and salt water mixes (what's that called? I can't remember from 4th grade geography...) everybody thinks she drowned. Jade rescues her and her captors chase them around, there's some fighting and some high-pitched merwords.

Touchy Subjects
Getting your period or as I like to call it "Special Monthly Time"
Some parents may not be comfortable having a girl who is part mermaid talk to their children about the embarrassment of getting your period. I found the scene in the book mortifying and realistic.
Telling lies
The twist on this book is that Jade's parents know she may be a mermaid. Jade lies to her best friend a lot. Eventually everyone ask for and gets forgiveness.
The First Kiss
I'm guessing most kids who are reading this book for the first time have never been kissed. That's a good thing and they should know that.

How this book is used in the classroom
1] Independent Read option (not for honors students...reading level is too darned easy, unless, of course, they read it for their independent summer read and for that I have a guide...a guide I should post on this website...hmmm...)


  1. This book is a great story about a girl who figures out she's a mermaid. However, this book does NOT just blend into the background with all the other teen mermaid books. It has a real story behind it- something more than just a girl who has a fishy secret.

  2. If you're wearing multiple toe rings, choose either gold toe rings or silver toe rings. Toes are small, so try not to clutter them with too many toe rings.


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