||Article first published as
Book Review: The Mermaid's Tale by Laura S. and William L.B. Wharton on Blogcritics.
December 13, 2013
The Mermaid’s Tale:
Mermaid Mystery Makes for Educational and Entertaining Young Adult Novel
Jock Avery and his neighbors at Long Leaf Lake, Chip and Lynna, are back in this second fun adventure in the Mystery at the Lake House series by Laura Wharton and her eleven-year-old son, William.
Regardless of whether or not you read the first book in the series, Monsters Below, this book is a real treat not to be missed. The story begins when seven-year-old Chip is watching his ten-year-old sister, Lynna, and friend, Jock, racing sailboats. Imagine Chip’s surprise when he sees a mermaid in the lake and Lynna almost runs over it!
Jock is skeptical when Chip says he saw a mermaid, but Lynna thinks they should believe her brother. The three friends immediately begin trying to figure out how they can discover whether or not there is a mermaid in the lake—or as Jock believes, something else that made Chip think he saw a mermaid.
But Jock also has other things to think about besides mermaids. He’s deeply engrossed in reading the latest Sam Justice adventure book—which provides a story within the book’s story. And while he’s enjoying his summer visit with his grandparents at the lake, he’s frustrated when his parents come to visit and his father spends all his time on the phone talking about work. Will his dad ever find time to spend with Jock? And then there’s the summer swim team competition....
But those concerns soon take second place when one night Jock also sees the mermaid. Is she real? How is it possible that a mermaid could be inside Long Leaf Lake?
Young readers will enjoy discovering the answers to these questions. And parents will appreciate that along the way, children will learn about fish, how to prevent water pollution, and the importance of believing in our friends.
I promise that everyone, young and old, will be surprised by how this story ends. Explaining a mermaid is no easy feat, but authors Wharton and Wharton are not only up to the task, but they’ve had help from a real-life mermaid to carry off this story with grace and ease.
And that’s not all—besides the story itself, the book includes an interview with William about how he and his mother collaborate in writing their books. Additional “treats” include recipes for actual delicious treats enjoyed in the story by the main characters, a sneak preview at the next book in the series, Secret of the Compass, and best of all, an interview with the real-life mermaid who provided the Whartons with information for this book! Yes, mermaids are real. Don’t believe me? Then read this book. Whether you’re a kid, a parent, or a lover of mermaids, you’re sure to enjoy The Mermaid’s Tale.
For more information about The Mermaid’s Tale and the other Mystery at the Lake House books, visit the author's page at Amazon.
— Tyler R. Tichelaar, Ph.D. and award-winning author of The Only Thing That Lasts
Superior Book Productions • 1202 Pine Street
Marquette, MI 49855 • (906) 226-1543 • email@example.com