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The Tail of Emily Windsnap

Review

The Tail of Emily Windsnap

Twelve-year-old Emily Windsnap lives on a houseboat in Brightport Harbor, but she has never learned to swim. Even though Emily begs for swimming lessons, her mom always says no. Finally, Emily persuades her mother to let her take swim class at her new school. When Emily hits the water, she gets the surprise of her life. Her long skinny legs have turned into a tail. That's right --- Emily is a mermaid!

All of a sudden, Emily's life is full of questions. Are there more mermaids out there like her? Why does her mom never seem to remember Emily's father, who left when Emily was just a baby? Who is the mysterious, menacing Mr. Beeston, who seems to be spying on Emily and her mother? And how can Emily get out of swim class before the rest of the seventh grade discovers her secret?

Emily is torn between happily exploring the undersea world of the mermaids and trying to solve the mystery of her father's disappearance. With the help of her new merfriend, Shona, Emily learns about mermaids and friendship at the same time.

Considering that this is a novel about magical creatures, THE TAIL OF EMILY WINDSNAP is surprisingly down-to-earth. Emily is a normal girl (in spite of that scaly tail), and her everyday worries about friends and family make the book seem realistic in spite of its fantastic premise. Readers will often be one or two steps ahead of Emily as she tries to solve the mystery --- Emily is sometimes a little slow to unravel the clues. Nevertheless, readers will be rooting for Emily to be reunited with her merfamily at last.

Reviewed by Norah Piehl on April 11, 2006

The Tail of Emily Windsnap
(Emily Windsnap #1)
by Liz Kessler