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Real Mermaids Don't Wear Toe Rings by [Boudreau, Helene]
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Real Mermaids Don't Wear Toe Rings Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 137 customer reviews
Book 1 of 4 in Real Mermaids (4 Book Series)
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Length: 208 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Age Level: 10 - 14 Grade Level: 4 - 8

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 5–8—Jade, 13, has enough problems. Her mom drowned a year ago, she's overweight, and her crush can't even remember her name. Then, she gets her period for the first time while trying on bathing suits for her best friend's pool party. At home, a relaxing bath in Epsom salts turns into a nightmare. She nods off in the tub and, upon waking, finds that her legs have been replaced by a scaly mermaid's tail. Her father doesn't seem surprised, only sad, and he reveals that she inherited this trait from her mother, a "Pesco-sapien," part fish, part human. The combination of salt water and the onset of puberty apparently triggered the change. Luckily Jade is able to return to her human state after some time out of the water. During a walk by the pier, she discovers that her mother is actually still alive and trapped in the lake by some not-so-nice mer-people. This leads to a frenetic, sometimes confusing, attempt to save her. Jade's father, who never seems to be able to get to his cell phone, is well-meaning but bumbling, leaving Jade mostly responsible for her mother's rescue. Flat characters and cheesy moments require the suspension of disbelief. Readers looking for an entertaining mermaid tale will be better served by Tera Lynn Child's Forgive My Fins (HarperCollins, 2010).—Mandy Lawrence, Fowler Middle School, Frisco, TX
(c) Copyright 2011.  Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

Jade’s fourteenth birthday means more than just an extra candle: a soak in a warm Epsom-salted tub of water exposes a mermaid’s tale—attached to her! She also discovers that her mother wasn’t drowned after all but is a mermaid who is being held hostage by rogue merfolk intent on discovering the secret of changing into human form. Can Jade get the right kind of help to bring her mom back home? What begins as a coming-of-age story becomes a mildly suspenseful chase-and-rescue mission. There are subplots involving classic adolescent moments like Jade’s first serious crush, a semi-serious third-wheel threat to a long-standing best friendship, and a single dad coping with his daughter’s first period. The first-person narrative brings Jade’s experiences up close and personal for readers who know what it’s like to have secrets and feel like a fish out of water. A quick read, at times a little flat, with touches of humor; give this to girls not quite ready for snogging. Grades 6-9. --Cindy Welch

Product Details

  • File Size: 476 KB
  • Print Length: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky; 1 edition (December 1, 2010)
  • Publication Date: December 1, 2010
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004BA57KS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #125,172 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

A Kid's Review on May 4, 2012
Format: Paperback
This book is a great story about a girl who figures out she's a mermaid. However, this book does NOT just blend into the background with all the other teen mermaid books. It has a real story behind it- something more than just a girl who has a fishy secret.
I have to warn moms that this book is not for girls who don't know are aren't comfortable with puberty. Jade (the main character/mermaid) gets her period and talks about other, um, big girl stuff.
But for girls who are going to read this book, you are very smart and you know how to choose a good book. :) When I read it on vacation, I couldn't put it down. Literally, we have pictures of my cousin and I squished into a chair reading. It may not have been the most comfy setup, but hey, it was worth it for a great book like this one!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Due to copy and paste, formatting has been lost.

The first book in the Real Mermaids trilogy surprised me. I was expecting a fluffy read about mermaids, which I got. But I didn't expect to actually be enchanted by it. You should know by now that I just adore any type of mythology-- any at all. So I was happy to read a little bit on mermaid lore (the webbed ones), but I was a tad disappointed with the actual mermaid content of the novel.

To me, it was too...I don't know, shallow? That's not really the word that I'm looking for, but it'll do for now. As I was saying, the underwater stuff, the mermaid change and stuff (and stuff, and stuff, ugh)? Well, I wish that it had been better done. In moments like those, I felt like I wasn't really a part of the book. And I can't help but wish that the lore part of the book had been more focused on.

Not only that, but the villians were super juvenile. But I can totally forgive that, because I realize that we're dealing with a younger age group here. But still, I like my villians bad. And I like my parent's realistic. The first time that Jade becomes a mermaid, her dad helps her out of the tub...but what self-respecting dad wouldn't screech when his daughter becomes a mermaid?? Especially when she changes back and she's I may have missed something, but ick. I took that the wrong way-- maybe she has a blanket? I'll just assume that I missed something. (Oh, dear God in heaven please.)

Now that I've gotten that off my chest, this book was really cute. Jade was a terrific character, which lots of younger girls will definitely identify with, because she's experiencing every thing for the first time too-- girly things, growing a mermaid's tail (if you are, totally tell me, I'll be there for you!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
These books are very quick reading for the average adult, because they are geared more for junior high/early high school aged readers. They are very reminiscent of Beverly Cleary in that the characters are very easily relatable, even with being 1/2 mermaid. The adolescent issues are very real. I found the entire series to be sweet and poignant while having some surprises and twists and turns along the way. I'd highly recommend them to anyone who loves mermaids and wants a bit of fun summer reading.
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By Yan on January 11, 2011
Format: Paperback
What's more embarrassing: pimple of day; bathing suit with nothing flattering the body; getting your first period while bathing suit shopping; running into a hot boy on your way to buy pads; run into your dad literally and buys you pads. Well, that's not as bad compared to finding yourself having fins instead of feet. Some girls have all the luck.

Real Mermaids Don't Wear Toe Rings is like no other coming-of-age story that I have read yet. It's charming yet exciting with an adventure of lives at stake. The battle to save her family was impressive for a middle grade novel with such a cute cover.

Jade is a well-spoken narrator with enough spunk to keep the readers' interest. Jade has a lot of her plate, but she is far from being that whiny tween a reader would hate to read about. I love Jade because even when she's down, she's not down for the count. Her best friend, Cori, helped with the character development of Jade as well as being a relatively, how do you say, a good friend! With so many things going wrong, Jade has at least one good positive thing in her life.

My only problem was with the male interest Luke. I found the ending to be too pitched perfect and a bit hard to shallow in terms of believable. It's the happily ever after many of the readers' want, but if were hinted more and his past clarified I would have bought the situation.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book mainly because mermaid books are normally about someone who is already a mer or finding out your friend or crush is a mer but this book is about what it would be like if you just had a tail out of the blue add in a bit of awkward humour and you have yourself a great read
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is a fun read, but I think with some depth to it too. I ordinarily don't read fantasy, but this sounded cute, so I gave it a try and I'm glad I did.

The mermaid bit is the obvious fantasy, but I think Jade's mother turning out to have been kidnapped by mermaids rather than having drowned, as Jade and her father thought, addresses the kind of real-life fantasy most of us have experienced of wishing we could have back someone beloved who we lost.

The story moves along at a quick pace. There are some lose threads in the plot, but there's a sequel where I'm sure they'll be picked up.
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