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Sunday, February 18, 2007

Emily Windsnap and the Monster from the Deep

Emily Windsnap and the Monster from the Deep
Author: Liz Kessler
Illustrator: Sarah Gibb
Publisher: Candlewick Press

Emily Windsnap is just like any ordinary teen-aged girl with all the problems that girls that age have. She’s just a bit more unusual than most girls. Emily is half mermaid. In this charming sequel to The Tail of Emily Windsnap (Candlewick, 2004) she is ecstatic that her parents are back together after years apart, they’re moving to the Bermuda Triangle to Allpoints Island a safe haven where merfolk and humans coexist in peace, her best friend Shona the mermaid is moving there as well, and she is leaving behind her school bully Mandy Rushton. Life should be wonderful indeed and it seems that way at first. Of course, that’s before she and Shona accidentally awaken the Kracken and plunge Allpoints Island into incredible danger.

Like most of us, Emily has a hard time owning up to what she did and taking responsibility for it. Her parents are fighting more and more and she doesn’t seem to fit in with the other mermaids. Worst of all, she runs right smack into her old nemesis Mandy.

Emily Windsnap and the Monster from the Deep is an interesting story and Emily herself is quite the heroine. It's not every girl that can take on both Neptune and the Kracken! She battles the same issues most girls these days do and then some. She’s very plucky, curious and wants to do the right thing. She’s even willing to fight for what she thinks is right. She’s also human enough to be scared, to not want to face up to her own actions, to leave things till the last possible minute. I think there’s a part in all of us that will identify with her. What makes her unique and even more interesting is the fact that she just happens to have a tail.

Another thing that I love about Emily is that she’s a mixture - half human, half mermaid. Emily’s story shows her wanting to be the best of both and fit in with the humans and the mermaids. Her parents trying to adjust themselves to each other’s world and feeling like they don’t fit in strikes a very real note and ties in nicely. I think that girls will identify and love Emily Windsnap. Highly recommended.

About the Author:
Liz Kessler lives on a canal boat in rural Cheshire, England. She knew that her first book, The Tail of Emily Windsnap, wasn’t the end of the Emily’s story. She got the idea for the kraken from the name of an amusement park ride, then went on a snorkeling trip to Bermuda to fill in more details. Emily Windsnap and the Monster from the Deep will be published in 15 countries.

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