To Catch a Mermaid

( 31 )

Overview

Boom Broom doesn't think his life could get any worse. Ever since his mother was swept away by a twister, his family has gone crazy. They refuse to leave the house and Halvor, the Viking descendant who rents the room over their garage, will only cook fish for Boom and his sister Mertyle to eat.

When Boom finds a baby mermaid who seems to grant unlimited wishes, he thinks his luck has turned around. That is, until his sister is hit by the curse of the merfolk and starts to turn ...

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To Catch a Mermaid

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Overview

Boom Broom doesn't think his life could get any worse. Ever since his mother was swept away by a twister, his family has gone crazy. They refuse to leave the house and Halvor, the Viking descendant who rents the room over their garage, will only cook fish for Boom and his sister Mertyle to eat.

When Boom finds a baby mermaid who seems to grant unlimited wishes, he thinks his luck has turned around. That is, until his sister is hit by the curse of the merfolk and starts to turn green. Now Boom and his best friend Winger must find a way to return the foul-tempered merbaby to its mother and save Mertyle before it is too late.

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Editorial Reviews

The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"The magic is wonderfully, classically unpredictable...the giggles are plentiful....Readers will commiserate, chuckle and cheer as Boom navigates his own series of unfortunate events."
From the Publisher
"The magic is wonderfully, classically unpredictable...the giggles are plentiful....Readers will commiserate, chuckle and cheer as Boom navigates his own series of unfortunate events."—The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"This amusing story has lots of kid appeal. Selfors has conjured up great characters and settings, and her narrative voice never falters...sure to be a hit with any reader searching for something funny."—School Library Journal

"Reminiscent of Dahl, Ibbotson and Snicket."—Kirkus

"Outlandishly funny characters....[A] nimble fantasy."—Publishers Weekly

Publishers Weekly

When the unlikely hero of Selfors's assured debut, a luckless sixth grader named Boomerang "Boom" Broom, inadvertently brings home a baby mermaid instead of cheap seafood from the fish market for dinner, he sets off a madcap chain of events that turns his house bright pink, transforms his bathroom into a tropical beach replete with banana tree and monkey, puts his little sister Mertyle's life in grave danger, and miraculously heals his dysfunctional family from the sudden and bizarre loss of his mother. The baby mermaid, the ill-tempered antithesis of Disney's Princess Ariel with razor-sharp teeth and green-seaweed hair, possesses powerful magic that, at first, makes Mertyle's unwitting wishes come true; but the merbaby also brings with it a deadly curse that soon afflicts Boom's sister in the form of a bizarre white fungus. With time running out, can Boom find a cure for his fuzz-covered sibling? Featuring some outlandishly funny characters (among them the villainous, "big-butted" principal Mrs. Prunewallop and Halvor, the family cook who models himself on Erik the Red), Selfors's adventure also subtly explores serious themes like grief, adversity and misfortune. In a nutshell-or, more fittingly, a conch shell-her nimble fantasy is about Boom's journey of self-discovery and the feeling that comes from achieving a seemingly unreachable goal. A few unresolved plot threads, notably to do with the mother, point to a sequel. Ages 8-12. (Sept.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
School Library Journal

Gr 4-6
Sixth-grader Boom Broom's got it rough. His family is still reeling from the twister that came and left their tiny seafaring town so suddenly, sucking up Mrs. Broom. For Boom, that means dealing with a dad who refuses to leave his "safe" attic; a 10-year-old sister, Mertyle, who fakes every illness imaginable to keep from leaving the house; and a cook who thinks he's a Viking descendant. Just when it looks as if Boom's as low as he can get, a miracle happens. While sifting through the reject bucket at the docks for some dinner, he finds an incredibly hostile baby mermaid. He wants to use the creature to make the family some money, but Mertyle wants to adopt it. Unfortunately, such actions can have horrendous consequences, and soon the two children are face-to-face with some seemingly uncontrollable magic and a curse beyond their reckoning. This amusing story has lots of kid appeal. Selfors has conjured up great characters and settings, and her narrative voice never falters. Though a sequel would not be surprising, this book stands well enough on its own. It's sure to be a hit with any reader searching for something funny.
—Elizabeth BirdCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
In this humorous riff on "The Boy Who Cried Wolf," Selfors tells the story of 12-year-old Boom Broom and his hypochondriac sister Mertyle. Viking housekeeper Halvor only serves fish, so Boom brings home a bucketful for supper. Inside the pail Mertyle finds a badly behaved creature that they decide must be a merbaby. As time goes by, Mertyle gets Ick disease, the traditional, fatal punishment meted out by mermen whose children are taken by humans. Boom's dad is no help; he's unable to leave the house because he hopes his wife will return home-a tornado took her away prior to the book's opening. Reminiscent of Dahl, Ibbotson and Snicket, Selfors incorporates lots of silliness with some elements of danger. While Boom's mum never does return, Mertyle's illness is healed after Halvor's Viking Society and her family work together to return the merbaby to her parents. It's often a bit twee, but there are some humorous moments. Best suited for reluctant readers who like silly fantasies. (Fiction. 8-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316018173
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
  • Publication date: 2/1/2009
  • Pages: 245
  • Sales rank: 183,240
  • Age range: 8 - 11 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Suzanne Selfors

Suzanne Selfors is the author of the Imaginary Veterinary series, the Smells Like Dog series, Fortune's Magic Farm, To Catch a Mermaid, and many other books. Rumor has it that she is a direct Viking descendant who enjoys marmalade toast and fried fish fillets. When not writing, she cares for wild critters, including a flock of messy chickens and two children. She lives on an island in Washington State where she likes to jog in the rain. She has been known to play a mean game of Kick the Ball Against the Wall.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 31 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(22)

4 Star

(4)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 31 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2013

    BEST BOOK EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    This is my new favorite book. It's really worth reading. It's exciting and full of adventure. The first Suzen Selfors book that I read was "Fortunes Magic Farm" and even before I finished it I was in love with the author. I was in the middle of two books and this one was so good that it was difficult to choose which one to read. I REALLY recommend it.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2011

    I

    I finished this book and IT WAS THE BEST BOOK I EVER BOUGHT BESIDES THE HUNGER GAMES? P.S. YOU CAN GET IT FREE WITH ADOBY DIGITAL LIBARY

    5 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2007

    Great read for my daughter and I

    I picked this up because the title was cute and I wanted to read a chapter book with my daughter that would keep her attention (she's 7). It's a clever story that has quirky humor and a good family lesson for children.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2012

    To catch a mermaid

    A very good book exciting thrilling interesting and joyful are all words to describe it I think that suzzane selfors is an amazing author.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2008

    To Catch a Mermaid

    This is a great book for kids with wide imaginations. It is a wacky story about how two kids find a merbaby and life goes upside down from there. The merbaby can grant wishes but can it save young Mertles life? This story will have you sitting on the edge of your seat for more.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2007

    A reviewer

    Emotion and humor come through beautifully in this fantasy adventure. Most readers will relate to the trials and tribualations and of the main characters, and love that the story resolves itself with a positive message. The humor is quirky and enjoyable for kids, but has sophistication that adults can apprediate too. The book emphasizes the importance of strong family bonds without being at all corny which is important, and the 'mermaid' character is completely unconventional and has a refreshinly non- stereotypical personality. It is easy to paint pictures in your mind of the story as you read. The descriptions are well thought out and vivid with out being wordy. You will finish the book feeling like you have had your intelligence, sense of humor and sense of adventure spoken too all at once. I think kids as well as adults will appreciate that. I know I did, as well as several kids I know who have read it!!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2013

    !!!!

    Grear book. Totally appropiate for all ages. I really suggest that if you havnt read it to read it.:)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2014

    :(not a fan

    Fifth grade book writen for four year olds i think it has to many pic and not enough reading

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 7, 2014

    Read this

    You suck i rock you are ugly

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2014

    Boom Broom, quite a name.

    Great book! But seriously, kick the ball against the wall? What type if sport is that? Not as good as soccer, I know.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2014

    Dont catch me even though im a mermaid!

    I can proove it just watch the video labeled:Im a real mermaid! On youtube.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2013

    Met the author!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I havent read the book but i met the author today!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2013

    Love it

    I read this book a long time ago and it is really good.

    -Blazetail

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2013

    A grand read

    Fantastic reading

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2013

    Anoynmus

    Was a great book about how bonds between brother and sister are tested, how life changes, and how your feelings change about yourself.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2012

    So great:)

    Great

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2012

    !

    WASTE OF MY MONEY DONT EVER BUY THIS BOOK!!!! D:'

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2012

    How to catch a j

    I love this book i want to marryit

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2011

    Vvuvvvblvgvuvvvvvgggb??????????????????????g

    Y is it so good

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2011

    Cute...

    Pretty+cute%21

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 31 Customer Reviews

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