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Aquamarine
     

Aquamarine

4.1 50
by Alice Hoffman
 

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Twelve year-old best friend Hailey and Claire are spending their last summer together when they discover something at the bottom of the murky pool at the Capri Beach Club. There, among the seaweed and jellyfish that the summer storm has blown in from the ocean, there is a mysterious and beautiful creature with a sharp tongue and a broken heart ­ a mermaid named

Overview

Twelve year-old best friend Hailey and Claire are spending their last summer together when they discover something at the bottom of the murky pool at the Capri Beach Club. There, among the seaweed and jellyfish that the summer storm has blown in from the ocean, there is a mysterious and beautiful creature with a sharp tongue and a broken heart ­ a mermaid named Aquamarine.

Editorial Reviews

barnesandnoble.com
Bestselling author Alice Hoffman spins her magic once again with Aquamarine -- her extraordinary first novel for young readers. In this lyrical, poignant tale, two best friends spending their last summer together at a deserted beach club discover a beautiful, brokenhearted mermaid stranded in the swimming pool. How they resolve her search for love and thus save her life teaches the girls that friendship is forever, and that magic can be found in the most unexpected places.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780606281850
Publisher:
Demco Media
Publication date:
03/28/2002
Pages:
106
Product dimensions:
6.84(w) x 7.66(h) x 0.47(d)

Read an Excerpt

The next day, as soon as they got out of Hailey's mother's car in the parking lot, Hailey was the one who took charge. After all, she'd been the one to see the mermaid at the bottom of the pool, huddled in a murky corner, her long hair streaming. Claire wouldn't have ventured into the water for any reason, not even to see such a wondrous being

As they went through the entranceway to the Capri Beach Club, Hailey handed her friend a jar she'd stored in her backpack. Claire held the jar up to the light and tried her best to figure out what the slippery-looking things were inside.

"Herring," Hailey told her when Claire couldn't venture a guess. "It's a kind of marinated fish. I found it in the back of the pantry. Mermaids must get hungry. All we need to do is hide behind the diving board, and when she comes to the surface to eat, we can study her."

"Good plan," Claire said. At any other time, Claire would have been the one to come up with the plans, but lately she'd been up half the night, thinking about how her sweaters and boots would be pointless in Florida, and how the leaves wouldn't change in the fall, and how it would be summer all year long.

Hailey, herself, was somewhat surprised to find that she'd actually been the one with the ideas. "You really think it's a good plan?" she asked uncertainly.

"Excellent," Claire said, although she, too, was surprised at how quickly everything was changing already, even though it was still the same.

After they'd sprinkled the herring in the pool, the girls waited behind the diving board. Jellyfish floated on the surface of the water, and a few bubbles arose up from the deep, but there was no sign of the mermaid. Hours passed and the girls didn't move. Time was so slow, and the air was so hot, they almost fell asleep.

When they didn't show up at the snack bar for lunch, Raymond came looking for them.

"What happened to my only customers?" he asked. "I was worried. I thought the seagulls had carried you away."

Raymond sat on the edge of a lounge chair and gazed into the pool. He was so handsome that for a few minutes the girls forgot there was a mermaid nearby.

"What a disaster," Raymond said, looking around the beach club. "I should have taken a different job this summer, but I guess I got used to this place."

When he'd first come to the Capri, he'd been the assistant to the assistant cook at the snack bar, and at lunch time they'd all had to work like crazy just to fill the orders of hamburgers and sandwiches and fries. There were crowds of people and the air smelled like coconut-scented sunscreen. Not a single one of the chaise lounges would have been empty on a beautiful day such as this. But that was all in the past.

"I don't want it to end," Raymond admitted.

"We know," the girls said at the very same time. "Neither do we."

"Don't forget to come by and have a lemonade. My treat," Raymond said as he started back to the snack bar. "After all, there are only a few days left to the summer."

Hailey had always noticed that Raymond often read two books at a time, and Claire had always noticed that he was so kindhearted, he fed day-old bread to the seagulls that followed him as though he were their favorite person on earth. Now they both could tell he was almost as sad as they were about the Capri closing.

The girls had been watching Raymond so intently, it was a while before they realized that a mermaid had surfaced at the shallow end of the pool. Her hair was pale and silvery and her nails were a shimmering blue. Between each finger there was a thin webbing, of the sort you might find on a newborn seal or a duck.

"What are you two staring at?" the mermaid said, when she turned and saw the girls gaping.

Her voice was as cool and fresh as bubbles rising from the ocean. She was as beautiful as a pearl, with a faint turquoise tinge to her skin and eyes so blue they were the exact same color as the deepest sea. But her watery beauty didn't mean the mermaid knew her manners.

"Stop looking at me," she demanded, as she splashed at the girls. "Go away!"

The mermaid's name was Aquamarine and she was much ruder than most creatures you might find at sea. At sixteen, she was the youngest of seven sisters, and had always been spoiled. She'd been indulged and cared for and allowed to act up in ways no self-respecting mermaid ever would.

Her disagreeable temperament certainly hadn't improved after spending two nights in the pool, tossed there like a stone or a sea urchin at the height of the terrible storm. Chlorine had seeped into her sensitive skin and silver scales dropped from her long, graceful tail. She hadn't eaten anything more than a mouthful of that horrible herring the girls had strewn into the pool.

"You heard me," Aquamarine said to Hailey and Claire, who were mesmerized by her gleaming tail and by the way the mermaid could dive so quickly, she disappeared in a luminous flash. When she surfaced through the seaweed she was not pleased to see they were still there. "Scram," she said. "Stop bothering me."

The mermaid glided into the deep end of the pool, the better to see Raymond at the snack bar. She had been watching him ever since she found herself stranded in the pool. His was the first human face she saw. She gazed at him with a bewildered expression, the sure sign of a mermaid in love.

"They're closing the Capri at the end of the week. The pool is going to be drained," Hailey called to Aquamarine. "You're going to have to go back to where you came from by Saturday."

The mermaid started to pay attention. "Where will the people go?"

"What people?" Hailey said. "Everyone's already gone except for us."

"Not exactly." Claire nodded toward Raymond. "Not everyone."

"He's going on Saturday, too," Hailey said. "He's leaving for college."

As soon as Aquamarine heard this, she began to cry blue, freshwater tears. No mermaid wants to fall in love with a human, but it was already too late for poor Aquamarine to be sensible. A sensible mermaid never would have wandered away from her sisters during a storm the way Aquamarine had.

As for Hailey and Claire, they couldn't know that a mermaid in love is far more irrational than a jellyfish and more stubborn than a barnacle. "You'll just have to go back to the ocean," they advised her.

"I'm not going anywhere." Aquamarine's pale complexion flushed blue as she pouted. "I won't leave before I meet him."

Up at the snack bar, Raymond was whistling a tune as he cleaned up the counter. Aquamarine tilted her head to listen, hearkening to what she clearly believed was the most beautiful melody anyone had ever been privileged to hear, either on land or at sea.

"Oh," she sighed as she watched Raymond. Her elbows rested on the edge of the pool. Her sea-blue eyes were dreamy. "If he only knew how I felt about him."

"I really don't think he's your type," Claire said as politely as she could.

Aquamarine looked stricken. She had never been denied anything she wanted. "Of course he is," she said.

"Well, for one thing, he lives on land," Hailey reminded the mermaid.

"You are both so mean," Aquamarine cried. "You're meaner than my sisters, and probably just as jealous."

Since she'd been swept up by the storm and set down at the Capri, Aquamarine had felt a taste of freedom. More important than the terrible food and the chlorinated pool was the idea that she could do whatever she pleased. She tossed her head and fixed the girls with her sea-blue eyes. "No one can tell me what to do anymore. Not my sisters and certainly not you. Anyway, it's too late. I've already made up my mind. I'm staying right here for as long as I want to. And no one can tell me otherwise!"

At the end of the day, the girls ran to Claire's grandfather's car and when he said "What's new, Susie Q's?" they let out a gale of giggles, convinced that no one would believe that they'd stumbled upon a mermaid who refused to behave. When they got to Claire's grandparents' house, they raced past the half-packed boxes in the living room and looked through the crates of books in Claire's room, hoping to find a solution for Aquamarine's predicament. Although they discovered references to many unusual creatures of the deep, from dolphins that were said to rescue lost sailors to sea-serpents twice the size of a whale, they couldn't unearth a single bit of advice on what to do with a mermaid who'd fallen in love.

Meet the Author


Alice Hoffman is the highly acclaimed author of over twenty novels for readers of all ages, including Illumination Night, Seventh Heaven, Practical Magic, Here on Earth, The Foretelling, Incantation, and, most recently, The Story Sisters and The Red Garden. Her previous novels for Scholastic Press are Aquamarine, which was made into a major motion picture, Indigo, and Green Angel, which Publishers Weekly, in a boxed, starred review, called "achingly lovely." She lives with her family outside of Boston. Visit her at www.alicehoffman.com.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Boston, Massachusetts
Date of Birth:
March 16, 1952
Place of Birth:
New York, New York
Education:
B.A., Adelphi University, 1973; M.A., Stanford University, 1974
Website:
http://www.alicehoffman.com

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Aquamarine 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 50 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wow! This book is fantastic as soon as I started to read it i could not put the book down. I saw the movie and it was good but not up to par with this book! You have to read it
Stephenie-Meyer-fan1 More than 1 year ago
I saw the movie and am hoping to read the book. But whoever said that the movie was wayyy better(uhem, some anonomous person), there's something wrong with them. The book is always, I repeat, always better than the movie. Always. Take Twilight for example. It was a great book with excellent writing. But the movie was aweful. I absolutley hated the movie. Ugh. "Don't judge a book by its movie!"-K.W.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was OKay. The movie was WAY better. I thought the book was going to be better than the movie. It is still a pretty good book but i thought it was going to be way better. Like i said it was OKAY.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you liked the movie well you should go back and read the book!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
this is a great book that i really enjoyed and i think anyone who likes mermaids should read it. and if you like a love story.in this one the mermaid wnats a date with a human boy. it is so awsome
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This read was great but more suitable for readalouds, rather than 4 reading 2 self
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Aquamarine is a great book. Two best friends stumble upon a mermaid, not in the ocean but in a deserted pool. Aquamarine finds herself falling in love with a man working at the the pool. This is a truly touching story. I highly recommend this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
when i was little i loved this book, i would read it on days end, wondering if a mermaid would get her love or if to best friends wouldnt be seperated... if you have seen the movie and liked it i am pretty sure you will like the book, because the book was a lot better.
Guest More than 1 year ago
ok, i'm sorry to the people who liked the book, but this was probably the worst book i have read for a long time. there is no plot, and it's really short. do not read this book, it's a waste of time.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book is super easy and you can rip through it in a few days but its still good if u need a break. however it is way too easy to be at a grade 6 level, and i read it in 5th grade
Guest More than 1 year ago
Aquamarine is not as good as the movie. The movie was more interesting
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was terrible! It takes two minintes to read, I really wanted to read it so i bought it and read it in the car going to NY. This was a waste of my money there was no point at all.Of all the books I've reviwed this is the only one with only one star! Don't waste your money on this it ends awful as well. BOO!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the best book i have read in a long time so i highly recomend you read this book i think you will really enjoy it! you don't even have to really like mermaids to read this book it has many suprising THINGS THAT YOU WOULD HAVE NEVER SUSPECTED
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the best book i have read in a very long time i have not seen the movie yet but the book is unbielvable !!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm sorry to say that when my friend let me borrow this book, I was sooo happy that I finally getting to read this. But now, after reading it, i think this book had NO plot whatsoever, and it was sorta babyish that she only really stayed in the human world 3 days. Unlike the movie, Hailey and Claire didn't get a wish and she didn't stay more than 3 days, and she didnt have a good reason to be where she is. Don't read this, unless you like plotless books
Guest More than 1 year ago
loved it who couldn't! sad, Funny, Love, friendship all at the same time i hated the movie but the book was really good.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you liked this aquamarine book you have to read the original one. Its nothing like the movie or this aquamarine book. It has a much better twist to it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a great story! I wish i was one of the girls in this story it would be wonderful!!! My wish would have been that i could be a mermaid too! I have read the book 17 times already and i am reading it again! i think the book is the best i have ever read and the film i could watch every minute of every hour of every day!!! Im a mermaid lover so this film has made me think.I have a great best friend!!! ITS SOOO AWSOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book gave me alot of thought about if the author really belived in mermaids. Also I enjoyed how Alice Hoffman used such great discription that it felt as if I was there exsperincing all of it. This book gave readers a feel about being unnormal, weather you were someone who was diffrent or even a mermaid like Aquamarine.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I saw the movie a little while ago and then decited to read the book. Aquamarine, by Alice Hoffman was just so-so. It was really short and took me about a half-hour to read. Sometimes short books aren't bad books but this one, well there just hasn't much feeling put into it. I enjoyed the movie much better which I quite seldom that I choose the films over books but in this case it's true. In the book the charector Aquamarine was set as a snobby, and really kind of an unlikable person. Where as in the movie she seems a lot nicer. Watch the movie instead!