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Aquamarine by Alice Hoffman
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Aquamarine (2001)

by Alice Hoffman

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Best friends Hailey and Claire are spending their last summer together before Claire moves to Florida with her grandparents. The Capri Beach Club has been the scene of so many memories for the girls, but this summer is especially bittersweet for them. Then, the morning after an awful storm, Hailey and Claire discover something unusual in the murky water at the bottom of the pool. There in the depths is a mysterious creature with a sharp tongue and a broken heart: a mermaid named Aquamarine has been separated from her sisters, swept away by the force of the storm.

Trapped in the deep end of the pool, Aquamarine is not only suffering from a severe case of homesickness, she is also experiencing the pangs of first love - for a totally inappropriate creature - a human teenage boy. Now, as this mythological yet very real being starts to fade in the burning August sun, the mermaid's fate rests with Hailey and Claire.

Just on the edge of growing up, during a summer that is the hottest on record, Claire and Hailey are discovering that life can take an unpredictable course, best friends are forever, and magic can often be found in the unlikeliest places. In Aquamarine, best-selling author Alice Hoffman weaves a luminous tale of nostalgia and enchantment, perfect for readers both young and old.

I've had this book on my TBR pile for almost three years. Despite waiting for such a long time to read the book, I thoroughly enjoyed this story. It was certainly intriguing and while definitely written for children, I found the characters well-developed and extremely likable. I give this book an A! ( )
  rubyandthetwins | Apr 21, 2014 |
Best friends Hailey and Claire spend their last summer together before Claire moves away at the old Capri Beach Club, where they discover the mermaid Aquamarine in the unused pool one day. Their efforts to return her to the sea before her demise parallel their struggle to come to terms with their impending separation.

Hoffman, whose adult work seems to straddle the line between fantasy and "chick lit," made her first foray into the world of children's literature with Aquamarine, which is short and unremarkable. I understand that mermaids hold a strong appeal for a certain segment of our young population (for me, it was dragons), but surely there are better works out there...? The Emily Windsnap series by Liz Kessler, for instance, or Mollie Hunter's The Mermaid Summer. ( )
  AbigailAdams26 | Jun 20, 2013 |
A cute book about friendship and magic. We all love the idea of mermaids and true love. This book is a great combination of them to draw the reader in. ( )
  bekeelen | Apr 20, 2013 |
This book will be a good book for young girls to read. It is about two girls who are best friends and after the summer is over one is moving away and their favorite country club is closing down. One day a big storm comes through and brings a mermaid into the pool, the girls find her and help her get back to ocean where she belongs. But there is a catch, the mermaid loves the cute boy that works the lunch counter. She has to have a date with him before she leaves. The girls arrange it and put her safely back in the ocean. This would be a good summer reading book for third through fifth grades. ( )
  csloan | Feb 23, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0439098645, Paperback)

This wide-eyed, magical tale by distinguished author Alice Hoffman reflects the pale blue hue of two 12-year-old friends about to be parted at summer's end. Hailey and Claire have lived next door to each other and have been best friends all their lives, but now Claire's family is going to move away to Florida. The two hang out at the neighborhood beach club in the blistering heat, dreading the end of things. The Capri Beach Club, too, is coming to an end--neglected and shabby, due to be bulldozed at the end of the season.

Despite the girls' fear of change, everything shifts with a summer storm. At the beach club the next morning, Hailey and Claire find that the storm has left its mark, filling the cloudy waters of the swimming pool with jellyfish and seaweed. Hailey boldly dives in and discovers that the waves have also brought a delicate blue and white mermaid who is extremely grouchy at her predicament. The girls scheme to return the fish-woman to the sea, but she obstinately refuses to leave the vicinity of Raymond, the handsome boy who runs the gift shop. Alarmed at the mermaid's growing weakness, Hailey and Claire extract her promise to go back to the sea in exchange for one evening with Raymond. They set up a blind date, dress her in a long blue dress to hide her tail, and take her to the rendezvous in a wheelchair. But the next morning the dying mermaid is in love, and the patio is full of partygoers. Can the girls sneak her past all those eyes to save her life? And will she let them? Young teens will be entranced by the strange dreaminess of this poignant little story about love and loss. (Ages 10 to 14) --Patty Campbell

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:21:11 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

A love-struck mermaid named Aquamarine supplies adventure and insights to two twelve-year-old girls, life-long friends who are spending their last summer together before one of them moves away.

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