Enchanted Shell (The Secret Mermaid) by Sue Mongredien

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Enchanted Shell (The Secret Mermaid) by Sue Mongredien

Buy Enchanted Shell (The Secret Mermaid) by Sue Mongredien at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: An early reader for girls who like magic and adventure. There's a good range of vocabulary and a story paced to give them confidence. Recommended.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 96 Date: March 2009
Publisher: Usborne Publishing
ISBN: 978-0746096154

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Molly didn't want to leave all her friends and move to Horseshoe Bay to live with her grandmother, but Gran had had a bad fall and her parents thought that she shouldn't be living on her own. Giving up her old bedroom and her friends – particularly Katie – had been hard but she loved the beach and her new room in the attic of The Boathouse – Gran's house. Just before she went to bed on the first evening Gran gave her a necklace. It was a piece of conch shell on a silver chain and Dad was quite surprised because he remembered the necklace from when he was a boy. He was definitely not allowed to touch it!

It's only when Molly gets into bed that she realises that there's some magic attached to the necklace and as she goes to sleep she finds herself transformed into a mermaid and swimming in a magical kingdom.

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.

It's just about the perfect book for the emerging reader. There are just eighty two pages of text in six chapters with liberal use of illustrations by Maria Pearson so there's nothing too daunting and it won't be too long before our reader has the confidence of having got a proper book under her belt. The vocabulary is challenging but not too difficult and there will be a real sense of achievement by the end of the book.

This isn't just 'a first reading book'. There's a very real story in there which is all the more impressive because it's done in relatively few words. There's magic, there's mystery and just a little spine-tingling danger. It's a story that a young girl is going to return to and reread. Boys will definitely not be quite so keen!

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 Seaside Adventure 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. We have a review of Penguin Peril from the same series.

For girls who enjoy magic and animals you might like to have a look at books by Holly Webb and if you're looking for a book for a young boy then we think that Sue Mongredien's Astronerds will hit the spot.

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Buy Enchanted Shell (The Secret Mermaid) by Sue Mongredien at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Enchanted Shell (The Secret Mermaid) by Sue Mongredien at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Enchanted Shell (The Secret Mermaid) by Sue Mongredien at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Enchanted Shell (The Secret Mermaid) by Sue Mongredien at Amazon.com.


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