Chapter Books Alice Hoffman Aquamarine

ISBN 13: 9780439098649

Aquamarine

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9780439098649: Aquamarine

Best-selling author Alice Hoffman's luminous tale of nostalgia and enchantment, for readers both young and old.

Hailey and Claire are spending their last summer together when they discover something at the bottom of the murky pool at the Capri Beach Club. There in the depths is a mysterious and beautiful creature with a sharp tongue and a broken heart: a mermaid named Aquamarine who has left her six sisters to search for love on land. Now, as this mythological yet very real being starts to fade in the burning August sun, a rescue is begun.
On the edge of growing up, during a summer that is the hottest on record, Hailey and Claire are discovering that life can take an unpredictable course, friendship is forever, and magic can be found in the most unexpected places.

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This wide-eyed, magical tale by distinguished author Alice Hoffman reflects the pale blue hue of two 12-year-old friends about to be parted at summer's end. Hailey and Claire have lived next door to each other and have been best friends all their lives, but now Claire's family is going to move away to Florida. The two hang out at the neighborhood beach club in the blistering heat, dreading the end of things. The Capri Beach Club, too, is coming to an end--neglected and shabby, due to be bulldozed at the end of the season.

Despite the girls' fear of change, everything shifts with a summer storm. At the beach club the next morning, Hailey and Claire find that the storm has left its mark, filling the cloudy waters of the swimming pool with jellyfish and seaweed. Hailey boldly dives in and discovers that the waves have also brought a delicate blue and white mermaid who is extremely grouchy at her predicament. The girls scheme to return the fish-woman to the sea, but she obstinately refuses to leave the vicinity of Raymond, the handsome boy who runs the gift shop. Alarmed at the mermaid's growing weakness, Hailey and Claire extract her promise to go back to the sea in exchange for one evening with Raymond. They set up a blind date, dress her in a long blue dress to hide her tail, and take her to the rendezvous in a wheelchair. But the next morning the dying mermaid is in love, and the patio is full of partygoers. Can the girls sneak her past all those eyes to save her life? And will she let them? Young teens will be entranced by the strange dreaminess of this poignant little story about love and loss. (Ages 10 to 14) --Patty Campbell

From the Author:

Dear Reader,

In the summer when I was twelve, my best friend Carol and I spent every day together at a beach club, dropped off in the mornings and picked up again at night. In many ways, it was a miraculous summer, the season that separated our lives from the children we had been to the teenagers we were about to become. It was a time when everything was more than it ever had been before: the sky more blue, the sea more green, our own tears more salty, our joys more blissful. Anything seemed possible. Our whole lives were open to us, at least for that singular summer. Not long afterward, Carol's family moved away, and although we feared for our friendship, much as the girls in Aquamarine do, we discovered that real friendship can last.

I still believe what we experience from the ages of ten to fourteen stays with us with unmatched intensity. For this reason, I wanted to write for this age group, and Aquamarine's story began as a tale told to my own son while we floated in a turquoise pool one hot summer day. It had been a difficult time for our family. My sister-in-law, Jo Ann, who had been my dear friend from the time we were nineteen, was battling brain cancer. As she grew weaker she lost the ability to walk, and then to move at all. She became taken with mermaids, those beautiful creatures who have no need of legs or of the air we breathe. We brought Jo Ann mermaid jewelry and mermaid mobiles and mermaid postcards, and now, at last, I bring to her memory the story of Aquamarine, who, like Jo Ann, hasn't the ability to live in our everyday world.

Some things live forever however, love and friendship among them. And some summers stay with you forever, as well. Here is the story of a mermaid found by two best friends who will clearly never lose one another.

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