Seaside Adventure (The Secret Mermaid) by Sue Mongredien

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Seaside Adventure (The Secret Mermaid) by Sue Mongredien

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Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: Magic, adventure and just a little spine-tingling adventure for the girl who is just mastering reading. Definitely recommended.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 96 Date: March 2009
Publisher: Usborne Publishing Ltd
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-0746096161

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Molly has been at her Grandmother's cottage, The Boathouse, for a few days now and she's settled into life at Horseshoe Bay well. She loves playing on the beach and building sandcastles, but most of all she enjoys her big secret. Molly is a secret mermaid and with the help of the conch-shell necklace which her Grandmother gave her the night that she arrived she can fall into the Undersea Kingdom and swim with the other mermaids.

A long time ago five of the conch-shell necklaces were stolen by the Dark Queen and it's important the Molly's new friend, the mermaid Ella, finds her necklace as it's the one that controls the tides. Ella is even more worried when Molly tells her that's there's been some flooding along the coast. They have to find the necklace.

Sue Mongredien has her finger perfectly on the pulse of what children enjoy. The inspiration for this series came when her eldest daughter didn't want to go to her swimming lesson. Sue suggested that she imagined that she was a mermaid, swimming through the pool and that persuaded her to get into the water. It started Sue thinking about what a great story it would be if there really was a girl with the magic power to turn into a mermaid – and so Molly came into being.

This second book in the Secret Mermaid series is perfectly pitched for the emerging reader with seventy six pages of text divided into six chapters. There's liberal use of illustrations by Maria Pearson which ensure that the pages are not too daunting – and that there are useful clues to the story if a little help is needed. The vocabulary is challenging but not too difficult for the newly confident reader. Don't worry if you haven't read the first book in the series, you'll quickly catch up with the story!

It's a good story too with adventure, intrigue and just a little danger as the girls are trapped by a killer whale. It's not a book which is likely to appeal to boys but any girl who enjoys magic and adventure is going to enjoy this book.

I'm always a little concerned when a book has a 'sneak preview' of the next adventure as this can put pressure on parents to buy another book when they might not want to do so. Here there are eight pages of Underwater Magic taken from chapter two of the next book. You could well end up buying all six books in the series.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag.

For more sea stories for the emerging reader we can recommend Flotsam and Jetsam and the Stormy Surprise by Tanya Landman.If you're looking for another series, try Sophia the Flame Sister (Spell Sisters) by Amber Castle and Mary Hall.

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Buy Seaside Adventure (The Secret Mermaid) by Sue Mongredien at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Seaside Adventure (The Secret Mermaid) by Sue Mongredien at


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