Book Review: The Tail of Emily Windsnap by Liz Kessler


Now that it is officially summer, I thought it was time to dive into a mermaid book, and I decided to finally read The Tail of Emily Windsnap by Liz Kessler. My impressions going into the book were: it sounds cute but it will probably be predictable.

I was wrong. It wasn’t predictable. This book is recommended for ages 8-12. Well, I’m 34 and found myself surprised as the story unfolded!

While the story seemed less than original – a young girl finds out she is special/ magical (a mermaid) – the plot was very creative. There was no receiving of magical powers on a certain birthday or being surprised and whisked away to a special school or magical world. Yes, the magical mermaid world plays a role in this book, but Emily does not simply abandon all she knows to disappear into it. On the contrary, she finds herself balancing two worlds while she searches for answers. What’s more, the mystery surrounding how it’s possible that Emily lives on a houseboat but doesn’t find out that she is a mermaid until she is in seventh grade is quite intriguing. Sure, there are the predictable good guys, bad guys, broken rules, and fun, quirky characters like Mystic Millie, the hypnotist/ reflexologist/ palm reader but that is something I expect from books at this reading level and feel the story would have been missing something without them. The Tail of Emily Windsnap is a fun adventure that I think both boys and girls would enjoy. There are plenty of mermen in the story too…after all, not only little girls dream of the sea.

One of my favorite lines from the book: “You can’t make people stop loving each other just because a law says it’s wrong.” – Liz Kessler The Tail of Emily Windsnap

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