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About the Author
Helene BoudreauHélène Boudreau writes fiction and non-fiction for children and young adults from her home in Ontario. Her debut middle grade novel, Acadian Star, was released last fall and was recently nominated for the 2009/2010 Hackmatack Children’s Choice Book Award.
I bolted upright in the bathtub and hacked a mouthful of water. A wave sloshed onto the tile floor.
"Jade?" Dad's knock sounded from the other side of the...
I bolted upright in the bathtub and hacked a mouthful of water. A wave sloshed onto the tile floor.
"Jade?" Dad's knock sounded from the other side of the bathroom door. "You okay, honey?"
"Yea...yeah," I managed to say between coughs, embarrassed that I'd fallen asleep in the tub, freaked out that I must have slipped underwater. I took a long, shaky breath. "I'm fine, Dad. Thanks."
A shiver ran along my damp arm as I pulled a strand of hair from my mouth. What would have happened if I hadn't woken up? My thoughts turned instantly to Mom.
No. I couldn't go there...
"Can I get you anything?" Dad asked.
I rubbed my eyes and instantly regretted it. Epsom salt. Tear ducts. Ye-owch. Real smooth, Jade. But at least the cramps were gone.
"No, I'm good." I blinked through the haze to the counter where Dad's drugstore bag spilled over with Super Maxi 32-packs and extra-long panty liners. Hadn't I tortured the poor guy enough for one day?
"Call if you need me." Dad's footsteps moved away from the door and continued down the hall.
But I wouldn't. I shouldn't.
Yes, getting my first period was a big deal, but I was almost fourteen, for crying out loud. I didn't need to run to daddy every time I had a puberty crisis. It had been a year since Mom drowned; it was time for me to start figuring things out on my own. Dad had enough to deal with.
Dim light from the streetlamp shone through the pebbled glass of the bathroom window. My eyes burned, plus my legs had gone numb and felt like they'd been set in a block of cement. It was late. I should get dried off, head to bed, and finally put an end to this cruddy day.
I braced my hands on the side of the tub and shook my legs to get the blood flowing, but the sight that broke through the foamy surface of the water made me forget the pep talk I'd just given myself about not bothering...
The world tipped on its axis as I worked to make sense of what I was seeing. I blinked, trying to focus. What the heck had happened while I'd been asleep? Was I having some kind of allergic reaction to Epsom salt? Had someone slipped hallucinogenic drugs into that Slurpee at the mall?
Those and other crazy thoughts shuffled through my brain as I struggled to understand why, instead of legs, the lower half of my body was now encased in a shimmering tail of iridescent scales.
"Ohmigod! Dad!!" I shrank back against the tub, disgusted by what I saw, but the tail moved with me. A sharp breath threw me into another fit of coughing. I shook my head.
Dad's footsteps clattered along the wooden floor in the hall.
"What is it?" His voice rang through the door.
"Call 911!" The words escaped between coughs.
The knob rattled. "Unlock the door, Jade! Let me in!"
I tried to haul myself over the side of the tub to stretch my hand toward the door, but my lower half flickered uselessly in the water.
Dad jiggled something in the lock, no doubt one of his trillion Swiss Army knife attachments, but it proved useless judging by the curse words he muttered. Finally, he rammed his weight against the door. A rush of air filled the room as the door flew open and slammed against the wall.
I pulled a towel to my chest from the towel bar above the tub as Dad stumbled into the bathroom.
"Look!" I lifted the tail from the water and struggled to catch my breath.
Dad's whole body jerked as he took in the blue-green scales shining from the tail. He collapsed onto the toilet seat and leaned heavily against the vanity.
"Do something!" I wailed.
Dad sat, frozen in place. He stared, mouth open, at my half-girl, half-fish body. After what seemed like forever, he spoke.
"Oh, Jade...I'm so sorry..." He ran a hand through his hair. "Your mom and I were always afraid something like this might happen to you."
“I thought this book was the most cutest book I had ever read... Overall, I very much enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more of Helene's books because she is just a fun a...
“I thought this book was the most cutest book I had ever read... Overall, I very much enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more of Helene's books because she is just a fun author!” - The Book Mermaid
““This new take on mythical and paranormal storylines is refreshing in itself, but Jade’s voice makes us true believers that maybe mermaids really do exist in our world.” - Night Owl Reviews, Top Pick” - Night Owl Reviews
““...a cute mermaid book with depth. It's a coming-of-age tale. It's a mystery. It's a friendship novel. It's a first crush story. All of these combined make one fun read. There's danger, romance, family drama, funny escapades, and sweet moments between a father and his daughter.” - TeensReadToo.com” - TeensReadToo.com
““Oh, how I love this book! It's cute, spunky, and original and there's mermaids...what more could a girl ask for? Overall, I highly recommend Real Mermaids Don't Wear Toe Rings. It's a great MG book and will appeal to some YA readers as well.” - Harmony Book Reviews” - Harmony Book Reviews
“...absolutely adorable. In a far-fetched tale such as this one, water-tight details help to make the unbelievable believable.” - Stacked
““Real Mermaids Don't Wear Toe Rings not only is an extremely quick, adorable, and funny read, but it's also the perfect cross-over between tween and YA lit, so that truly anyone in those two groups can read it and have a high chance of enjoying it.
The premise of this was pretty great, and the execution was even better.” - Lauren’s Crammed Bookshelf” - Lauren’s Crammed Bookshelf
““I saw a few other people in the blogosphere reading this, so I decided to give it a go. I love it so far. ...spontaneous and original...” - My Book Thoughts” - My Book Thoughts
““Real mermaids are really cute. This was adorable.” - (W)ords and (W)ardances” - (W)ords and (W)ardances
““Boudreau has woven an exciting tale of mermaid mythology and growing up… a witty, fun, and humorous novel with many cute lessons to learn!” - The Bookologist” - The Bookologist
““Boudreau spins a fast paced, coming of age story that will be enjoyed by all ages although I think tweens will like it the most.” - Book Blather” - Book Blather
““What I most loved about this book was the main character. She just felt like a completely real person, like someone you went to middle school with. And her voice was hilarious. When I finished the book, I put it down with a contented sigh. It was an incredibly fun and satisfying read.” - Anna of First Page Panda” -
““I loved this book! I don’t want to spoil very many of the plot points, so I’ll just gush about Jade instead. She makes the book. She has a great personality and she’s very down to earth, but she also suffers from some very pesky issues with her self-confidence.
Real Mermaids Don’t Wear Toe Rings is a fun read, with mystery, suspense, and lots of danger. I liked the characters, I thought the premise was great, and I enjoyed reading along as Jade gains confidence in herself and comes to terms with who and what she is. I hope that there will be a sequel, because I would love to learn more about Jade and I look forward to spending more time with her.” - Manga Maniac Cafe” - Manga Maniac Cafe
““This was a quick and easy read and I managed to read it in one sitting as I was curled up on the couch one afternoon. The day I read it was over cast and dreary out. Your typical winter day so it was nice to imagine being somewhere nice and summery.
This is a great middle grade book for girl readers.” - Cindy’s Love of Books” - Cindy’s Love of Books
““Helene Boudreau’s Real Mermaids Don’t’ Wear Toe Rings surprised the heck out of me! It was funny with snappy dialogue, poignant in its quirky coming-of age portrayal, and totally engaging in its frank yet corny depiction of the protagonist’s struggles with puberty, relationships, and dealing with her mother’s loss.
Even though this novel is geared towards a middle level female audience, it is a very engaging and an immensely entertaining romp. The ending was almost as fun as the start, with an unexpected twist that left me smiling and completely satisfied.” -Eating YA Books” - Eating YA Books
““Everything about Hélène Boudreau's latest release was wonderful. The characters were likable, the plot was somewhat unique, and the outcome, although slightly predictable, was completely satisfying. I was hooked from the first page, and pleased when I flipped over the last one.
Overall, this is one book you just can't miss. Its a fun and quick read, and even comes with Jade's recipe for scrumptious 5-Minute Chocolate Mug Cake in the end!” - Icey Books” - Icey Books
““This was a short cute book, and I loved the mermaid explanation. That was really original and it almost made me believe it could be true. So here the author really thought about how and why there are mermaids.
Recommendation and final thoughts:
A yes there, this is something young girls would enjoy. First there is mermaids, cool, the crush, and issues with friends. The paranormal and the down to earth things all young people go through.” - The Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell
” - The Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell
““...an absolutely charming book...[Jade’s] 'voice' was well articulated, strong, and often comical.” - I Just Wanna Sit Here And Read” - I Just Wanna Sit Here And Read
““Real Mermaids Don't Wear Toe Rings had plenty of humor, action and a mystery. Younger girls will especially eat it up and wish for more of Jade's story.” Michelle and Leslie’s Book Picks” - Michelle and Leslie’s Book Picks
““This is one book I would definitely recommend for tweens. It's a fun, charming, witty story and one teen girls and women can definitely relate to in some sense. Not many books can deliver the humor of the "you know what" all girls get and deal with for the first time, like Helene did with Jade. I hope I get to read more about Jade. Her voice is one that will be hard to forget. This is a coming of age story with humor.” - Mundie Kids Reviews” - Mundie Kids Reviews
““This coming of age tale (sorry, I couldn’t resist the pun!) has a lot that tween/teen girls can relate to — friendship drama, crushes, puberty/body image issues — with a fantasy flair and a bit of mystery to boot.” - Chrissie Morrison, Tween & Teen Librarian, The East Greenbush Community Library” - Librarina: Great books for Tweens & Teens
Length: 7.5 in
Width: 5.25 in
Weight: 5.44 oz
Page Count: 224 pages