Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Real Mermaids Don't Need High Heels

Real Mermaids Don't Need High Heels

Helene Boudreau
For ages 12 and up
Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, 2013   ISBN: 978-1402264580

Jade is thrilled. She is finally in high school where she will have more freedom and more choices. Jade will have a locker rather than a cubby, and she is hopeful that she will be able to have a normal life again. Many people might find a normal life boring but Jade craves an ordinary and predictable life.

   For the last few months her world has been confusing, sometimes frightening, and full of surprises. She now knows that her mother is a mermaid, and she, Jade, grows a tail when she enters water and if she inhales some. Jade has found out that mers (this is the correct name for mermaids) live in the nearby lake and in the ocean that lies beyond the canal and lock, and that the Mermish Council has strict rules. One of these is that the Council members do not want their own kind to know that mers can transform into a human with legs, and that they can become what the mers called Webbed Ones

   Jade is all ready to enjoy her first day of school when her grandmother arrives bringing Serena with her. The last time Jade saw Serena the girl was a mermaid. Apparently Serena’s father wants his daughter to live her life as a human most of the time. If Gran and her family help Serena life a life on land, Serena’s father will behave himself. If they don’t, he will start vandalizing and stealing boats, and who knows what else he will do. At the best of times he is temperamental.

   So now Jade has to babysit a mer teen who does now know how to speak English, who cannot write, and who cannot bear to wear shoes. The good news is that Serena is a sweet and loveable girl and most people quickly become fond of her. The bad news is that the mer girl is prone to doing things that create problems for Jade.

   Watching over Serena seems like a huge issue until Jade goes to Bridget’s Diner with her friend Cori and their boyfriends Trey and Luke. There she finds out they have a much bigger problem to worry about. The Mermish Council members, especially the leader, are facing a possible revolution. The mers are getting sick and tired of the Council’s often cruel actions. To put a stop to a potential uprising, the Council is imprisoning troublesome mers in the lake, and they are going to enforce Tidal Law. At the next full moon, just nine days away, they are going summon all the mers, including the Webbed Ones, to the mer village in the ocean. Since Jade was born a human and only recently acquired the ability to transform, she will not feel the pull of Tide Law, but her mother, boyfriend, Serena, Bridget, and the school swimming coach who were mers from birth will all be unable to avoid the summons. Jade cannot believe that once again she has to deal with a problem involving mermaids.

   In this third Real Mermaids title the author takes poor confused Jade on another adventure and this time Jade has to use her head and her heart to save the ones she loves. New information about the characters is revealed as the story unfolds, and readers will be delighted with the thoroughly satisfying ending.