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AQUAMARINE by Alice Hoffman

AQUAMARINE

By Alice Hoffman

Age Range: 10 - 12

Pub Date: April 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-439-09863-7
Publisher: Scholastic

A gossamer fable written by an adult author who illustrates some of the pitfalls awaiting those unused to writing for young people. Twelve-year-olds Hailey and Claire have been best friends since they were born. But now Claire is moving from next door to Florida, and the girls have only the summer together. They spend their days at the decrepit Capri Beach Club, which has fallen on hard times and has only Raymond, the snack shop clerk, to keep them in lemonade. In the old murky pool where Hailey learned to swim, they find a mermaid named Aquamarine, blue and opalescent and surly as heck. She needs to get back to saltwater, but instead she falls in love with Raymond, and the girls contrive to give her one evening with him before they have to take her back to sea. The Capri is bulldozed, Claire and her grandparents move to Florida, and Raymond goes off to college, but that's not the end of the story, quite. An arch tone and a this-is-good-for-you air might irritate an alert reader, but others might just take the fantasy for what it's worth and enjoy. (Fiction. 10-12)