Fish Girl

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Ethereal illustrations by David Wiesner capture the beauty of Fish Girl and her aquarium home. Colorful sea creatures are realistic and beautiful. A friendly orange octopus is the epitome of a true friend. Fish Girl is a captive in an aquarium. Caught as a baby "mer-son," Fish Girl owes her life and sustanence to Neptune, the sea god. Neptune is the only parent figure Fish Girl has ever known, and he claims he saved her from death, giving her a home at the aquarium. The only thing he asks is that she "perform"--allowing visitors to glimpse a sighting of her. She is not allowed to fully  appear to anyone and cannot interact with the human guests. Neptune warns her that if people really believe that she's a mermaid, someone will come and take her away to study and cut open. This is enough to frighten her into subservience.

One day, this all changes when a curious twelve year old named Livia bonds with her. Fish Girl cannot speak and has no legs to walk, but she dreams of being human. What would it be like to have legs and walk on dry land and wear real clothes and  attend a yoga class? Livia continues to sneak visits with Fish Girl whom she names Mira (short for Miracle) and wonders where Fish Girl came from and just who Neptune really is. After one of her visits, Mira questions her keeper's intentions as well. She searches Neptune's office and finds overdue bills and a photo of Neptune fishing on a boat.Mira realizes her "father" is not the god of the sea but a common fisherman and he's been lying to her about everything.

Mira  decides she wants out and enlists the help of Octopus in her foray. Her friend will do anything for her and does.Fish Girl is the strange but wonderful story of a mermaid and a human who become friends and later sisters. It is full of friendship, hope, possibilities and love.

Magnificent art will win over even "boy" readers who thinks that Fish Girl is a "girl" story. One reviewer on Amazon reported that her son said, "while he said this was a "girl story" (a huge insult for a 4th grade boy), he eventually succumbed to mom's pleas and read it and called it, "pretty good, but still would have been better with boys" ... Which is basically a rave review for him..." That being said, if boys are led to this book, they will likely enjoy the story and the fantastic graphic content.

Highly, highly recommended for fans of graphic novels and middle school readers.

9780547483931  192 pages

Recommended by:  Pamela Thompson, Library Media Specialist, Texas USA

See more of her recommendations: http://booksbypamelathompson.blogspot.com/

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Come pay your money!  See the sights!  Maybe you will and maybe you won't spot the Fish Girl today.  Is she real or is it all just a game? Where will she be hiding today?

A young mermaid lives in an aquarium playing hide and seek with the visitors by day and hearing stories from Neptune, the man with the trident, by night.  She savors those stories especially the ones about how he saved her and brought her here to live and be safe.  Or did he?

When a girl visits the aquarium and goes beyond the ropes to get a better look, she sees the whole mermaid, not just the bits and pieces she is supposed to glimpse through the seaweed and schools of protective fish.  A rule has been broken and a way of life is about to change.

Neptune's stories don't seem to add up once the mermaid, Mira, has the chance to see more of the world beyond her glass walls.  Mira begins to find out the truth.  She feels the pull of the ocean and she begins to dream of freedom for herself and for her best friend, the octopus, and all the caged creatures living in this tiny, artificial world of pretense.

Recommended by:  Barb Langridge, abookandahug.com

 

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From the publisher: The triple Caldecott winner David Wiesner brings his rich visual imagination and trademark artistry to the graphic novel format in a unique coming-of-age tale that begins underwater. A young mermaid, called Fish Girl, in a boardwalk aquarium has a chance encounter with an ordinary girl. Their growing friendship inspires Fish Girl's longing for freedom, independence, and a life beyond the aquarium tank. Sparkling with humor and brilliantly visualized, Fish Girl's story will resonate with every young person facing the challenges and rewards of growing up.

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