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The Tail of Emily Windsnap
Cover of The Tail of Emily Windsnap
The Tail of Emily Windsnap
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A young girl learns she's half mermaid and plunges into a scheme to reunite with her father in this entrancing, satisfying tale that beckons readers far below the waves.

For as long as she can remember, twelve-year-old Emily Windsnap has lived on a boat. And, oddly enough, for just as long, her mother has seemed anxious to keep Emily away from the water. But when Mom finally agrees to let her take swimming lessons, Emily makes a startling discovery — about her own identity, the mysterious father she's never met, and the thrilling possibilities and perils shimmering deep below the water's surface. With a sure sense of suspense and richly imaginative details, first-time author Liz Kessler lures us into a glorious undersea world where mermaids study shipwrecks at school and Neptune rules with an iron trident — an enchanting fantasy about family secrets, loyal friendship, and the convention-defying power of love.

A young girl learns she's half mermaid and plunges into a scheme to reunite with her father in this entrancing, satisfying tale that beckons readers far below the waves.

For as long as she can remember, twelve-year-old Emily Windsnap has lived on a boat. And, oddly enough, for just as long, her mother has seemed anxious to keep Emily away from the water. But when Mom finally agrees to let her take swimming lessons, Emily makes a startling discovery — about her own identity, the mysterious father she's never met, and the thrilling possibilities and perils shimmering deep below the water's surface. With a sure sense of suspense and richly imaginative details, first-time author Liz Kessler lures us into a glorious undersea world where mermaids study shipwrecks at school and Neptune rules with an iron trident — an enchanting fantasy about family secrets, loyal friendship, and the convention-defying power of love.

Available formats-
  • OverDrive Read
Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    1
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
    3.8
  • Lexile:
    540
  • Interest Level:
    MG
  • Text Difficulty:
    2 - 3

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About the Author-
  • When Liz was quite young (about eight) she wanted to be a poet. She grew up and did lots of other things, but then in 1999 she suddenly realized she wanted to write a book. She says, "It was as though I'd remembered what I'd always wanted to do, and I've never looked back."

    About mermaids, she says, "I am fascinated by the sea and all the mysteries of the ocean. It's so huge and there is so much of it that we haven't discovered and know nothing about. To me, mermaids represent the possibilities of what might just exist, on the edges of our imaginations and our world."

    Liz recently spent a year traveling around Europe in a camper van with her best friend and her dog, Poppy. She lives in England.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    May 31, 2004
    Pre-teen girls will likely bite at this novel's tempting bait, offered in the opening lines: "Can you keep a secret? Everybody has secrets, of course, but mine's different." Emily Windsnap, who narrates, is half-mermaid, as she discovers, inconveniently, in her seventh-grade swim class. Despite never having had a lesson, she takes to the water like, well, a fish. Before Emily's first kick turn she feels her legs melding into a tail. She hops out of the water before she can be branded a freak, but she's hooked. At night, she sneaks from the boat where she lives with her mother to explore the undersea world, and unravel the mystery of her genetics—which involves her long-missing, never-discussed father. Newcomer Kessler anchors her fantasy in the nitty-gritty of adolescence: Emily bests a bully who comes close to guessing her secret, and she finds a best friend in Shona, a mermaid she meets during her nightly swims. Coincidences drive the plot—Shona has recently studied illegal mermaid-human marriages in school; a creepy lightkeeper drops a key that unlocks a treasure chest containing a file spelling out the entire backstory. The jewel-toned jacket art and ink-wash illustrations sprinkled throughout add girlish charm to an imaginative story. Ages 8-12.

  • DOGO Books bracgirl - oh my gosh i totally loved this book i read it like 4 times it all started when Emily Windsnap jumped into a pool for the 1st time then she meets an other mermaid who helps her find out about her mer dad who was put in jail for marring a human woman and having a child with her in the end Emily makes it so her parents could be together and she lives in the ocean and on land. DO NOT FORGET TO READ THE OTHER EMILY WINDSNAP BOOKS!!!!
  • School Library Journal

    June 1, 2004
    Gr 4-6-Seventh-grader Emily Windsnap has never learned to swim, in spite of the fact that she and her mother live on a houseboat. When she finally takes a swimming class at school, her legs turn into a fishtail. She tries to hide her strange affliction, but something draws her to the sparkling surf. Soon, she is secretly gliding through the water as a mermaid. Below the waves, she meets Shona, also 12, who takes her to mermaid school and leads her on several adventures. When Emily learns the intriguing history of the Shiprock community and of illegal marriages between humans and merpeople, she begins to look for her merman father. Danger, humor, confrontation, and even a trial before Neptune all play a part in her search. Eventually, she finds her dad and comes to understand the truth about her oddly controlling neighbor, Mr. Beeston; her mother's dislike of water; and her parents' love affair. All ends well when the family is reunited and swims away to live a new life on a secret merfolk island. This fantasy has some delightful moments, but not enough to keep it afloat. Characters are not fully developed, the plot wavers between complicated and oversimplified, and the transition from merworld to human is not smooth.-Beth Tegart, Oneida City Schools, NY

    Copyright 2004 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    May 1, 2004
    Gr. 4-7. This first novel opens with a classic teaser: "Can you keep a secret?" It turns out that the secret is a particularly juicy one. Though outwardly a normal seventh-grader, Emily Windsnap transforms into a mermaid when she goes swimming. The phenomenon worries her but thrills her, too, especially when she discovers an underwater "mer-city" not far from where she lives, and begins to learn the answers to nagging questions about her origins: Why did her father abandon her when she was a baby? Why can't her mother remember details about her husband? After a new mermaid friend mentions "illegal marriages" between mer-people and humans, readers will guess where things are headed--long before Emily herself does. Emily's eventual reunion with her merman father seems overly reliant on luck and coincidence, but her determination keeps things cruising along, and the premise of someone slipping easily into a shimmery underwater world has considerable allure. Light, imagination-tickling fare ideal for middle-grade girls, with charming ink-wash illustrations scattered throughout.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2004, American Library Association.)

Title Information+
  • Publisher
    Candlewick Press
  • OverDrive Read
    Release date:
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The Tail of Emily Windsnap
The Tail of Emily Windsnap
Liz Kessler
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