This delightful sequel to 2007's My Last Best Friend continues the story of fourth-grader Ida May, her growing friendship with Stacey and her rivalry with bully Jenna. While looking for costumes in her attic, Ida May and Stacey unearth a mermaid nightlight. Turned off, the mermaid has a pleasant smile; turned on, the smile turns into a scary, glowing grin. Stacey believes the lamp will cast evil spells like those in horror movies. They form the "Secret Mermaid Club," and Ida May directs the first spell at bossy Jenna. The two girls believe their spells actually work, but things become complicated when they need to lie to make Stacey's spells come true. Can Ida May straighten things out without endangering their friendship? The unexpected twist, with Ida May extending the hand of friendship to Jenna, is believable and satisfying. Bowe is spot-on with Ida May's feelings toward Stacey and her change-of-heart toward Jenna. Issues surrounding divorced households are handled realistically. Fans of Ida May will be overjoyed to read this new installment. (Fiction. 7-10) Read full book review >
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