Review: Miri Attwater
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I give 4 stars to books I enjoyed while reading and think I can read over again and still enjoy.
I read Miri Attwater and the Ocean’s Secret with my 3rd grade daughter, and it was a big hit! The story follows 10-year-old Miri Attwater in her seemingly normal life as an unconfident 5th grader. Miri is afraid of pretty much anything to do with water (and slimy things), and trying new things makes her uncomfortable. So when her parents insist that she’s to go with them on her dad’s scientific boat trip instead of going to summer camp with all her friends, she is NOT happy. And then Miri learns the most dreadful surprise of all: she’s actually a mermaid!
This book left me with a feeling of, “wow, that was really fun!” It gave a fresh-water take on the mermaid genre (sorry for the bad pun–I couldn’t help it!). The story was very cute and dotted with witty puns to go with the water theme. I normally get bored of pre-teen girl characters pretty quickly, but Miri Attwater had such a great spread of silliness about her, original humor, and fun, child-like way of looking at the events around her, that I found myself genuinely interested in her stresses and hopes. The book incorporated a well-balanced combination of pre-teen emotion, interesting twists, and middle-grade humor. My only real beef with the book was the ending: it stopped rather abruptly without any real conclusions, leaving you hanging until you get book 2 (thus 4 instead of 5 stars). So, it felt more like it should be part of a larger book instead of a book by itself.
I think Miri Attwater and the Ocean’s Secret will appeal especially to young and middle-grade girls who get into stories about overcoming fears and trying new things, and who love princesses and/or mermaids.