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Ingo Paperback – August 8, 2006
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From School Library Journal
Grade 5-9–A family living on the coast of Cornwall gets caught up in the undersea kingdom of the Mer people. After their father mysteriously disappears, Sapphy and her brother, Conor, visit Ingo and find themselves yearning to return to the ocean world. Conor resists, but Sapphy has a stronger affinity with the watery kingdom. While she struggles with its temptation, she also clashes with her mother, who seems too ready to forget the children's father. These elements come together in an exciting climax in which the siblings risk traveling to Ingo to save the life of the human diver their mother is dating. Sapphy's present-tense narration brings readers right into her world. Through her eyes, they see the beauty of Ingo, the comfort of her earthbound home, and the confusing muddle of thoughts and emotions that her experiences inspire. The undersea world seems equal parts menacing and alluring, which builds suspense and keeps everything pleasingly unpredictable. Relationships are especially well drawn. Sapphy is dedicated to Conor, despite some jealousy; she loves her mother, though she's keenly aware of how different they are; and she is not sure how to feel about Faro, the charming, sometimes angry young Mer man who serves as her undersea guide. Strong character development combines with an engaging plot and magical elements to make this a fine choice for fantasy readers, who will look forward to the next installments in this planned trilogy.–Steven Engelfried, Beaverton City Library, OR
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
*Starred Review* Why does Dad get a dreamy look when he croons the old song about the magical sea world called Ingo? Then one misty morning Dad vanishes, and Sapphire and her brother, Conor, believe that the Mer people of Ingo have something to do with his disappearance. Legend has it that a young man with Mer sensibilities fell in love with a mermaid and abandoned his pregnant fiancee, paving the way for Mer traits to be passed down to others. If the legend explains Dad's disappearance, then the kids have some of the Mer traits themselves. Drawn almost irresistibly to the sea, they encounter Mer people and find themselves struggling to balance life on land with the secret delights and wonders offered in the water. Dunmore's narrative skims expertly across the pages as it chronicles the kids' thrilling adventures (the dolphin-riding scenes are grand) and deftly weaves in an ecological message about protecting the sea. Readers will eagerly await the next title in the planned trilogy from this talented British writer, who is as adept at writing books for children as she is at writing adult fiction and poetry. Anne O'Malley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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I'm not exactly sure how this story can stretch on for the four or five more books I see are out, and honestly this one wrapped up nicely enough to be a stand alone (if accepting a few stray threads) for those who don't wish to continue. I do plan to go on with the series and see where it goes.
It's not one of my favorite, but like I said, the intended audience is much younger than I am, and I still found it enjoyable enough. I specifically liked Dunmore's take on how mer mind's and perceptions differ from human's. It has that feel of traditional lore of fae -- a sort of chaotic neutral. And how Faro constantly pointed out flaws in human's depictions of mer.
If reading this with your child, be ready for a conversation of loss! Of what could happen if a family member disappears or passes away.
Most recent customer reviews
Ingo follows the life and secrets revolving around a girl named Sapphire and her love for the sea. Her father had gone missing, supposedly taken by the ocean.Read more
“Ingo” by Helen Dunmore was published in 2005. This adventurous tale takes place on a cliff by the mysterious Atlantic Ocean.Read more