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The Mermaid Summer Library Binding – June, 1988

4.6 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Library Binding, June, 1988
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In order to ensure their grandfather's safe return to their Scottish fishing village home, Anna and Jon strike a bargain with a beautiful, imperious mermaid. Ages 8-12.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Grade 4-6 A fantasy based on Scottish folklore in the manner of Hunter's earlier books such as The Haunted Mountain (1972) and The Kelpie's Pearls (1976; o.p., both Harper). ``About a hundred years ago, they say, there was a mermaid who ruled the cold, wild sea that washes around the northern lands,'' Hunter begins, and then tells of the one foolish, stubborn fisherman who refused to believe in the mermaid's power. Eric Anderson learned his lesson the hard waynear-death with all of his men and forced into exile, because now he could never be safe again in local waters. Heartbroken, his family called in the village wisewoman and gained a slight, confused glimmer of hope from her talk of threes and the gifts that Eric would send from other ports. Nearly three years after he'd gone, his grandchildren Jon and Anna find the way to use the gifts; their courage and determination to bring their grandfather home drive them to a final dangerous and triumphant confrontation with the mermaid. Hunter's prose is somewhat less musical than in some of her earlier books, but the characters are just as likable in their separate headstrong ways, briefly but clearly drawn. Her ability to entwine folk elements with matter-of-fact life in a 19th-Century fishing village is masterful. Sara Miller, White Plains Public Library, N.Y.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 and up
  • Library Binding: 118 pages
  • Publisher: Harpercollins (June 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060226285
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060226282
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,603,520 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 7, 2002
Format: Paperback
These are the mermaids that sailors feared -- vain, nasty little finned misses who don't hesitate to call up storms if it suits them. Mollie Hunter is in prime form here, in the tale of two brave kids who struggle to free their village from a vindictive mermaid.
Eric Anderson never believed in the mermaid -- until his ship was crashed on the rocks, and he saw a mermaid seconds before the disaster. After that incident, he stays on the land with his family, but eventually grows restless for the sea. He leaves for a shipping job far away. Three years later, his wife, children, and grandchildren Anna and Jon receive nine gifts -- which the wise woman Howdy tells them is significant. Everything regarding the mermaid and their grandfather, she says, will be connected with the number three.
One of the gifts is a conch shell, which the spooked Jon finds will summon the mermaid. After Anna accidently calls the mermaid up, the fishy girl is at first charmed by the sight of a "female land creature," then demands Anna's gift, a beautiful jade comb. When Anna refuses to give it to her, the mermaid threatens to drive away the herring -- meaning that the village will starve that winter. A war of wills begins between two ingenious kids and a ruthless mermaid -- not just for the village, but for Eric Anderson as well...
This is a stronger book than Hunter's "Stranger Came Ashore," partly due to the more mainstream plotline and partly due to the third-person narrative. For the characters, Hunter hits all the nails on the head, as every person's emotions and responses are perfectly-written. Her descriptions of a rural village full of life and work is appealing, as are her atmospheric descriptions of the coastline.
Jon and Anna are good heroes for this.
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Format: Paperback
Eric Anderson was the only fisherman in the village who laughed at the tale of the mermaid whose favourite place was the Drongs, the huge rocks off the coast of the village. (They're real, by the way, lying off Hillswick Ness in the Shetland Islands of northern Scotland.)
Eric stopped laughing, though, on the foggy day when he and his crew not only saw her, but were lured onto the rocks by her singing. After consulting the Howdy - the local wisewoman, in this 19th century village - Eric left the fishing fleet to sign on for a long ocean voyage, rather than endanger the other fishermen. The Howdy offered hope - and riddles, recommending what gifts he should find and send home to his family. Not until later do we understand the Howdy's prophecy that Granda Eric's gifts will be his hope of coming home, and that his fate is ruled by the number three. The Howdy's character is well drawn - we see enough of the story from her viewpoint to know that she's not as uncanny as she seems, and enough to understand why all the kids are scared of her.
Eric sends gifts and letters to his wife Sarah, his son, and his grandchildren, Jon and Anna - but not the name of his ship or its home port, fearing that he might weaken if they write back. Both the adults and children of the family are developed properly as characters; Sarah, Eric's wife, reacts about as you might expect to her husband's exile to the ends of the earth, giving us a glimpse of the Howdy's treatment of the ailments of despair. While the adults are too proud to write against Eric's wishes, Anna is so determined that she figures out how to get her letters to Eric, always ending, 'Please come home soon.' She may even be determined enough to defeat the mermaid's magic...
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Format: Library Binding
When I first bought Mermaid Summer I was very excited to start reading it. It was a good book, but I was a little disappointed in some ways. For example, I was hoping the author would explain where the mermaid was from. The mermaid was being thought as a dangerous creature. The author also didn't really go into great detail of the mermaid. The book was really a tale of a little girl hoping to see her grandfather again, hardly of a mermaid.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
found this to be a good book. I still have a few chapters to read as my son and I are reading a chapter at a time . He listens to me read as he finds it hard to read as he can't stay focused enough to read a lengthy book. But he likes the book.
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Format: Paperback
This was one of my favorite books as a child. Just a warning however, I have a deep fascination and love for mermaids, and fairy tales in particular, so I'm a little biased here. The mermaid's character is fantastic, and as the first reviewer said, she is a "real" mermaid in true form. The author does good things for the reader visually, and all characters and their plights can be sympathized with. A really great read.
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