The Mermaid’s Tale: Laura and Will Wharton
Little brothers often use their imaginations to try and get the attention of their older siblings. Chip Avery is shocked when he sees a mermaid in the lake and thinks his sister Lynna might run her over. But, Chip is the only one that sees this beautiful mermaid and now the adventure begins. When he tells his best friend Jock what he saw will he believe him? Will his sister Lynna think he is doing this to get attention or will they rally round and try and help him solve the mystery?
Should he discount what his best friend saw as a figment of his imagination? The Avery family is unique in that all of the youngsters love to swim, race sailboats, explore the lake and enjoy doing things as a family. Bo, why not go on a search to try and find the illusive Mermaid. Lynna, Jock and Chip the stars of Monsters Below, are the stars of this endearing new novel: The Mermaid’s Tale by mother and son authors: Laura and Will Wharton. Jock now has to decide whether to believe his best friend Chip or not!
Racing his sailboat The Carolina, Jock and Lynna do not see what Chip claims to have seen a beautiful mermaid in the water. Would you believe your eyes or would you think it was a mirage? When Chip relates what he thinks he saw to Lynna, his sister, will she believe him or will she enlist the help of Jock and her family to try and solve another mystery?
Chip’s mother is an archeologist and the authors explain her job, how she goes about creating blueprints and where her expertise might come in to help them search the lake for the mermaid. Added in let’s not forget Jock’s love of the Sam Justice adventure book where the author’s share yet another adventure for this super hero with readers. But, this is summer vacation and although they are spending it once again at the lake with their grandparents, Jock feels put out when his parents show up and instead of spending time with his children, his father remains on the phone dealing with work. But, Lynna and Chip’s mom jumps right in, as Lynna’s journal just might be the answer. Going back out on the lake their mother creates a map for Jock to use that might help him find the exact spot where Chip claims to have seen the mermaid. Added in she enlists Lynna’s help to record whatever they find in her journal making sure that they do not miss anything and have every location documented in their search to find the mermaid. But, there is much more as the authors share information about scuba diving and scuba gear, not going into the water directly after eating lunch, preventing and understanding water pollution and learning the true meaning of loyalty, friendship and family values and love. What is really special and I feel all teens, young adults and adults can learn from the Avery Family is the polite way they speak to each other and the respect they give each young or old. So, do you believe in Mermaids? After reading this endearing story you must might!
This novel is replete in history as the authors share information about the history of scuba diving, how it relates back to the Scandinavian Stone Age, the Egyptians and the tradition in both Japanese and Korean women hunt for pearls and what free diving means. As each of the youngsters want to understand this even more they refer to several written resources, discuss when they would be old enough to free dive and learn more about the history of North Carolina. Students interested in history, learning about the past will find this book informative, exciting and join Jock, Chip and Lynna on their search to find the Mermaid but in passing they learn much more.
When Jock questions his judgment and expresses his feelings to his grandfather about whether to believe Chip or not the discuss is really quite deep, the reasons why he should believe in his friend quite solid and understanding the meaning of optimist, dreamer and storyteller quite interesting. What would you do in a similar situation? Would you support your friend or think he/she was making it up? Faith, friendship, persistence and the love of his family allows Chip from giving up. But, when Jock actually sees the mermaid himself he realizes that he owes Chip more than just an apology. So, where did this mermaid come up and will everyone else ever get to see her?
Within this novel we also learn from Jock’s grandfather how to make different fishing knots, more about the many types of fish found in the lake, how his grandfather met his grandmother and the difference between a well tied knot and one that would cause the fisherman to lose the fish he might want for dinner. Throughout the novel we get a glimpse of Sam Justice and we get an extra novella within the novel that readers will enjoy. Each time Jock wants to escape he enters the world of Sam Justice hoping to help him in his many missions. But, what happens next will surprise readers as the authors share the history of Mermaids, the fact that they do really exist and we get to meet one up close and personal. Just who this Mermaid might be and where she came from you will not believe? When Jock feels down and upset because his father does not seem to have enough time to spend with him at his grandfather’s during the summer wait until you learn why? Can he forgive his father for not having time for him and his mother? What is the huge event that he has to attend and will this enlighten him? Does Long Leaf Lake really have its own Mermaid? Children will learn from Jock, Chip and Lynna the importance of believing in yourself and your friends. Why it is important to protect our waters, lakes, streams, seas and oceans from pollution and the power of miracles or magic. Although Jock is frustrated and wishes his father would have more time for him the end result of why just might bring them all together as he talks with his mother and she reveals some information that he never knew. Wanting to become a free diver, entering a swim competition is great but nothing compared to having family time.
Added in the authors include several special pages which include How to build an underwater viewing box for those young divers and swimmers that want to learn more about what’s beneath the surface of a lake or body of water. Followed by a real life interview with a real life Mermaid by author Laura Wharton. Read the interview it is really interesting and must have been exciting for our author to be in the presence of Mermaid Linden and learn more about her. Finally, the authors include recipes for cookies and tons of sweets stuff followed by a preview of their next novel and an interview with both authors. Sounds exciting, informative and yet you might still wonder: Are Mermaids Really Real? Did Jock and Chip really see one? Did she really appear? Well: Find out when you read this engaging, entertaining, informative and exciting search for one mermaid.
This is one novel that kept this reviewer glued to the printed page until I learned more about fishing, how to protect our waters, different kinds of fish, the history of mermaids, and so much more. I can’t wait to find out what Chip, Jock and Lynna have in store for us next.
Fran Lewis: Reviewer
Let’s give this book: FIVE GOLDEN FISH