The Mer-Child: A Legend for Children and Other Adults

Overview


This enchanting story tells of two outsiders who find a deep kinship in each other. The Mer-Child -- with his pale green skin, surf-white hair, and shimmering tail -- is not fully accepted in the sea world or the human world. The Little Girl -- child of a black mother and a white father --has been ostracized both because of her race and because her legs are paralyzed. The bond they weave, against all odds, becomes a wondrous celebration of our common capacity to love. ...
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Overview


This enchanting story tells of two outsiders who find a deep kinship in each other. The Mer-Child -- with his pale green skin, surf-white hair, and shimmering tail -- is not fully accepted in the sea world or the human world. The Little Girl -- child of a black mother and a white father --has been ostracized both because of her race and because her legs are paralyzed. The bond they weave, against all odds, becomes a wondrous celebration of our common capacity to love.

Relates the friendship between a little girl whose legs are paralyzed and a young boy whose mother is a mermaid and whose father is a human.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A well-known feminist writer and editor presents a sad but ultimately uplifting tale of two outcasts. The Mer-child, rejected by his people as the child of a sailor and a mermaid, meets the Little Girl, who is also rejected, not only because her mother is black and her father white, but because she is disabled. They form an intense and bittersweet friendship by the edge of the sea, and she grows up to become an ecologically concerned oceanographer. The tale invites comparison to Randall Jarrell's The Animal Family , but Morgan is no poet. Unlike Jarrell, she doesn't let the characters' interactions tell the story, and so drifts from the book's center--the well-handled friendship of the children--into clumsy and pedantic moralizing. Stylized drawings of sea life don't rescue this well-intentioned but flawed work. Ages 8-up. (Dec.)
School Library Journal
Gr 4-6-- Written in the style of a fairy tale, this is the story of a special relationship between a paralyzed little girl and the son of a mermaid and a human. The lonely mer-child has only a few sea creatures for playmates, and his efforts to play with human children have met with rejection, disbelief, and teasing. One day he sees a child carried to the beach by her father. After watching her for days, he begins to leave her gifts, initiating a friendship that continues from year to year. He teaches her to swim; when she grows up and becomes a famous oceanographer, she returns yearly to their beach until, upon their death, they become sea swallows. The child is biracial and she and the mer-child talk about how people treat each other because of race, sex, money, etc., but this didacticism does not overwhelm the story. The writing sustains the mood well; however, there is little action as the story concentrates on the children's relationship and the characterization is limited to their interactions. The book is nicely decorated with small black-and-white drawings at the beginning and close of each chapter and page numbers encased in scallop shells. --Jane Gardner Connor, formerly at South Carolina State Library, Columbia
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781558610545
  • Publisher: Feminist Press at CUNY, The
  • Publication date: 1/1/1993
  • Pages: 64
  • Age range: 6 - 11 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.20 (d)

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