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By (author) Alice Hoffman
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Egmont UK Ltd, London, United Kingdom
Imprint: Egmont Books Ltd
Published: 6th Mar 2003
Dimensions: w 212mm h 298mm
Weight: 45g
Interest age: 8+
Reading age: 8+
ISBN-10: 1405203633
ISBN-13: 9781405203630
Barcode No: 9781405203630

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Kirkus UK
Alice Hoffman, bestselling writer of books for adults, will delight a younger readership with her first novel for children. Aquamarine is about love, loss and growing up, one hot August in a little seaside town. Hoffman imbues this slender tale with an air of magic and mystery; the traumas of adolescence are soothed by the unconventional device of a somewhat stroppy mermaid. Best friends 12-year-old Hailey and Claire are spending their last summer together at their old haunt, the ramshackle Capri Beach Club. The club is due to be demolished to make way for a bird sanctuary, and Claire is moving to Florida with her grandparents in September, so the girls are counting the hours they have left together. When the stifling heat wave is broken by a violent storm, the girls discover a beautiful mermaid lurking in the bottom of the swimming pool. Time is running out for this gorgeous creature, however - she is wasting away in the chlorinated pool water, and must return to the sea as soon as possible. But Aquamarine, spoilt and fractious, is used to getting her own way, and when she sets eyes on Raymond, the handsome boy who runs the snack bar, she falls madly in love. Despite her rapidly deteriorating condition, she refuses to leave the pool until the girls have set up a meeting with him. Reluctantly, they agree to the plan, but only if she returns to the sea straight afterwards. As the girls spend their final hours together helping Aquamarine make the perilous journey back to the sea, their own positions undergo a sea change. Claire, timid, frightened of water and always level-headed, throws caution to the winds, plunging into the waves to help the dying mermaid into deeper water. Hailey learns that thinking before acting is the wisest course of action, and she becomes more thoughtful, more insightful, in the course of this brief story. Read it at a single sitting as Hoffman suggests, and it is indeed like a wave washing over you. This may be her first foray into writing for young people, but her new readers will be fervently hoping it isn't her last. Ages 10+ (Kirkus UK)