Kate, who lives in a lighthouse and often dreams that she is a mermaid, has a chance to rescue two real mermaids one stormy night.
School Library Journal - School Library JournalGr 3-4--Ten-year-old Kate and her family live in a lighthouse. Her mother, who is about to give birth, is busy with the younger children. Her father, the lighthouse keeper, has been training Kate to assist him. In her spare time, she likes to daydream about mermaids. She is sure that they never have to do chores or put up with little brothers or sisters. When her father must row to the mainland for supplies, he puts Kate in charge of the beacon. A storm comes up and the girl works hard to keep the light burning. During the night, a rowboat is washed ashore. In it, Kate finds what she calls her "mermaids," a human mother and baby who survive a shipwreck. This beginning chapter book has just enough suspense and character development to entice younger readers. Unfortunately, some of the technical information is quickly glossed over. As Kate performs her duties, children may wonder, for example, how the fog bell works or how the oil is piped into the light. Full-page, black-and-white pencil drawings appear throughout. Peter and Connie Roop's Keep the Lights Burning, Abbie (Carolrhoda, 1985) and Candace Fleming's Women of the Lights (Albert Whitman, 1995) are both about real female lighthouse keepers. The Lighthouse Mermaid is best suited for large collections.--Elaine Lesh Morgan, Multnomah County Library, Portland, OR
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