Where I got it: ARC for review from Simon & Schuster
Rating: 4.5 stars
Cover Rating: 4 stars (Very attractive)
Genre: Middle Grade
Publication Date: May 18, 2010
Page Count: 403 p.
Everyone is mad at Keeper. Keeper is mad at those stupid, stupid crabs that got her into this mess. Today was the Blue Moon day and everything was supposed to be perfect. Signe's Crab Gumbo, Dogie's two-word song to Signe and Mr. Beauchamp's night-blooming plants. But, those stupid crabs, spoke to Keeper and convinced her to release them back into the Gulf of Mexico. Since she did that everything else has gone wrong. She broke Signe's favorite bowl, BD, her dog, broke Mr. Beauchamp's flowerpots and now everyone is mad at her. If only she could find her mom Meggie Marie, a mermaid, then maybe she could make things right. Keeper decides to go to the last place she saw her mother, the sandbar. However, Keeper doesn't realize just how strong the sea can be even when you offer gifts to Yemaya, the mother mermaid of the sea.
I really enjoyed this story. Kathi Appelt has a way with words. This story was magical and lyrical reminiscent of Weetzie Bat. I thoroughly enjoyed all the characters and being able to see the story from each of their points of view. I thought it would be confusing to have the story constantly switching between characters but Appelt pulled it off flawlessly. This was an enjoyable story about love and loss and growing up. Keeper had to come to realize a lot of harsh things and at parts this book was very depressing; but then you remembered how happy the little family by the sea is and everything seemed better. This story was told in short chapters and sparse, though lovely, illustrations. I loved how she seamlessly brought together myths and real-life, interlacing them through each other to crafts an intricate yet, realistic childhood. Though, Keeper's world is not completely set firmly in reality, it also isn't completely mythological either. Appelt lets Keeper rest in this in-between world that makes you wonder if maybe there isn't a little magic surrounding us all.
"Keeper leaned over the edge of the boat."
" Jack wrapped his own fingers between Henri's. One wish, granted."