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The Mermaid's Secret    by Katie Schickel order for
Mermaid's Secret
by Katie Schickel
Order:  USA  Can
Forge, 2016 (2016)
Hardcover, Softcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Jess Creary, the lead in The Mermaid's Secret, has a lot to deal with. Her beloved older sister Kay died in a boating accident two years before (Jess blames rich, entitled Trip Sinclair for Kay's death); her Passamaquoddy mother has gone missing; and her Sheriff father grieves. She works on a fishing boat, flipping burgers for tourists, a job her dad considers beneath her. But Jess likes Matthew, the boat captain and her feelings are clearly reciprocated.

On her birthday, Jess surfs in a very dangerous zone, where 'Tutatquin Point bares her teeth like a rabid dog.' She goes all-in and begins to breathe water and develop scales - she's transformed into a mermaid, and is stalked by a shark looking for dinner. She wonders if this is permanent but is relieved to find that she changes back when she leaves the ocean. Gradually, Jess explores her new abilities and plans on using them to bring justice to Trip Sinclair.

But Jess learns that she has a limited time in which to decide whether to remain a mermaid permanently or to choose humanity. And she meets her mother again. What will she decide? Read this charming story (based on an Algonquin legend of Ne'Hwas, the Mermaid) for yourself to find out.

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