Tween Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted here at GreenBeanTeenQueen to highlight great reads for tweens. Join the fun and add your link below.
Genre: Contemporary Fantasy
Release Date: Re-release-originally published in 2007
Add to Goodreads
About the Book: Poor Boom Broom-he's had a string of bad luck. After a twister swept his mother away, his father refuses to come downstairs and his sister keeps making up illnesses to make sure she can stay home from school. Halvor, the Viking descendant who lives in the Boom's garage, makes Boom eat fish every day. And now Boom has detention which means he's going to miss the kick the ball against the wall tournament at lunchtime. So when Boom has to pick out a fish from the reject fish bucket to take home for dinner since that's all he can afford, he picks out a strange colored fish. Turns out Boom didn't find a fish, but a merbaby-and with it comes the curse of the merfolk. In order to save his sister, Boom must enlist the help of his friends and even some Vikings to return the merbaby to her mother.
GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: To Catch a Mermaid is a perfect tween read. There is lots of humor and tweens will relate to Boom's bad luck. He often ends up in the wrong place at the wrong time and for all his trying to good, he always finds himself in a sticky situation. Plus, he has these really annoying neighbors that keep trying to take everything away from Boom (including his championship title of kick the ball against the wall). And on top of that, Boom is having to grow up a little too fast-having to take care of his sister and his father since both have checked out since his mother died.
Suzanne Selfors handles all this in a masterful way. The book never gets too sad or sappy, but Boom learns that his family is important (even if they can be a bit annoying at times) and the merbaby helps Myrtle and Mr. Broom with their loss and fear of leaving the house. And as I mentioned, there is lots of humor to the book. The Brooms live on a small island that is filled with a cast of zany characters. From the Viking descendants, to the mean bullying Mumps, to the pet store owner who knows fish have feelings, this book has a lot to leave readers laughing. (And yes, I did love the mention that because Myrtle knows so many facts, she has a future as a reference librarian!)
This is a fun fantasy with lots of heart and I would give it to readers who enjoy a touch of fantastical in their books.
Book Pairings: Savvy by Ingrid Law, 11 Birthdays by Wendy Mass
Full Disclosure: Reviewed from copy of the book sent by publisher