It's hard being a pre-teen girl; it's even harder when you find out you're a mermaid!
This is a fast-paced coming-of-age comedy novel that has adventure, mystery, and a touch of romance by Hélène Boudreau, nominated for a Canadian children's choice award for her middle grade novel ACADIAN STAR.
If she hadn't been so clueless, she might have seen it coming. But really, who expects to get into a relaxing bathtub after a stressful day of shopping for tankinis and come out with scales and a tail?
Most. Embarrassing. Moment. Ever.
Jade soon discovers she inherited her mermaid tendencies from her mom. But if Mom was a mermaid, how did she drown?
Jade is determined to find out. So how does a plus-size, aqua-phobic mer-girl go about doing that exactly? And how will Jade ever be able to explain her secret to her best friend, Cori, and to her crush, Luke?
This summer is about to get a lot more interesting...
About the Author
Hélène Boudreau writes fiction and non-fiction for children and young adults from her home in Ontario. Her debut middle grade novel, Acadian Star, was released last fall and was recently nominated for the 2009/2010 Hackmatack Children's Choice Book Award.
Read an Excerpt
I bolted upright in the bathtub and hacked a mouthful of water. A wave sloshed onto the tile floor.
"Jade?" Dad's knock sounded from the other side of the bathroom door. "You okay, honey?"
"Yea...yeah," I managed to say between coughs, embarrassed that I'd fallen asleep in the tub, freaked out that I must have slipped underwater. I took a long, shaky breath. "I'm fine, Dad. Thanks."
A shiver ran along my damp arm as I pulled a strand of hair from my mouth. What would have happened if I hadn't woken up? My thoughts turned instantly to Mom.
No. I couldn't go there...
"Can I get you anything?" Dad asked.
I rubbed my eyes and instantly regretted it. Epsom salt. Tear ducts. Ye-owch. Real smooth, Jade. But at least the cramps were gone.
"No, I'm good." I blinked through the haze to the counter where Dad's drugstore bag spilled over with Super Maxi 32-packs and extra-long panty liners. Hadn't I tortured the poor guy enough for one day?
"Call if you need me." Dad's footsteps moved away from the door and continued down the hall.
But I wouldn't. I shouldn't.
Yes, getting my first period was a big deal, but I was almost fourteen, for crying out loud. I didn't need to run to daddy every time I had a puberty crisis. It had been a year since Mom drowned; it was time for me to start figuring things out on my own. Dad had enough to deal with.
Dim light from the streetlamp shone through the pebbled glass of the bathroom window. My eyes burned, plus my legs had gone numb and felt like they'd been set in a block of cement. It was late. I should get dried off, head to bed, and finally put an end to this cruddy day.
I braced my hands on the side of the tub and shook my legs to get the blood flowing, but the sight that broke through the foamy surface of the water made me forget the pep talk I'd just given myself about not bothering...
The world tipped on its axis as I worked to make sense of what I was seeing. I blinked, trying to focus. What the heck had happened while I'd been asleep? Was I having some kind of allergic reaction to Epsom salt? Had someone slipped hallucinogenic drugs into that Slurpee at the mall?
Those and other crazy thoughts shuffled through my brain as I struggled to understand why, instead of legs, the lower half of my body was now encased in a shimmering tail of iridescent scales.
"Ohmigod! Dad!!" I shrank back against the tub, disgusted by what I saw, but the tail moved with me. A sharp breath threw me into another fit of coughing. I shook my head.
Dad's footsteps clattered along the wooden floor in the hall.
"What is it?" His voice rang through the door.
"Call 911!" The words escaped between coughs.
The knob rattled. "Unlock the door, Jade! Let me in!"
I tried to haul myself over the side of the tub to stretch my hand toward the door, but my lower half flickered uselessly in the water.
Dad jiggled something in the lock, no doubt one of his trillion Swiss Army knife attachments, but it proved useless judging by the curse words he muttered. Finally, he rammed his weight against the door. A rush of air filled the room as the door flew open and slammed against the wall.
I pulled a towel to my chest from the towel bar above the tub as Dad stumbled into the bathroom.
"Look!" I lifted the tail from the water and struggled to catch my breath.
Dad's whole body jerked as he took in the blue-green scales shining from the tail. He collapsed onto the toilet seat and leaned heavily against the vanity.
"Do something!" I wailed.
Dad sat, frozen in place. He stared, mouth open, at my half-girl, half-fish body. After what seemed like forever, he spoke.
"Oh, Jade...I'm so sorry..." He ran a hand through his hair. "Your mom and I were always afraid something like this might happen to you."