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The Secret Mermaid: Book 5
by Sue Mongredien
Far out in the ocean live the Shell-Keeper mermaids. While the rest of the world sleeps, one little girl joins them for some magical mermaid adventures. Molly must venture into the ocean's darkest depths to help find mermaid Pearl's missing shell. They know the Dark Queen's sea snakes are on the prowl... but nothing can prepare them for the discovery that Pearl's shell is inside a huge underwater volcano - a volcano that could erupt at any time!
“If you have a child who is just mastering reading then one of the first authors to look to these days is Sue Mongredien.”
The Book Bag
Sue Mongredien read English at Leeds University. After graduating, Sue worked as an editor of children's books before leaving to travel around the world. She now lives in Brighton with her partner and three children and is a full-time writer. She has had over 60 books published.
Visit www.suemongredien.co.uk/ to find out more.
Molly could feel her legs tingle, and then that strange melting sensation came over them, as if they were dissolving. And now she could feel cool water against her skin as she fell deeper and deeper, her eyes still closed…
She slowed to a halt and opened her eyes. She was a mermaid again – yes, there was her beautiful tail sparkling behind her! – and she was down in the ocean once more, wearing a bikini top and her conch necklace. But something felt wrong.
She jumped in alarm as a loud rumbling noise started up and the ground shuddered below her. The seabed was shaking! She stared around, noticing that the water was completely empty of sea creatures. Where had they all gone? What was happening?
The ground became still after a few seconds and the rumbling died away. Thank goodness! Molly’s pulse slowed as she gazed about tentatively. She was in very deep water, she could tell – it felt much cooler and seemed darker and gloomier than the other parts of the ocean she’d explored. She tipped her head back and stared above her – then felt dizzy as she realized just how far up the surface was. Not that she needed air to breathe now, of course. As a mermaid she could breathe underwater, but all the same, it was rather unnerving to think just how deep the water was – and how she was all the way down at the bottom of it.
It was a relief to hear a friendly voice calling her name at that moment. “Molly! Molly! I’m over here!”
Molly turned gratefully to see another mermaid swimming towards her. “Pearl!” she said, recognizing her at once. Pearl was one of the five other Shell-Keeper mermaids and looked after the deepest parts of the ocean with the help of her magical conch piece. Pearl had long brown hair which she wore in bunches tied with green ribbons, big brown eyes and a shy smile. “I’m so glad to see you,” Molly said as Pearl drew closer. “I heard this rumbling – and the ground seemed to be shaking and…”
Pearl nodded, not smiling any more. “It’s one of the volcanoes,” she said. “My piece of the conch can usually keep them from erupting too often, but since it’s been missing, the volcanoes are beyond my control. So many eruptions mean areas of water have become very sooty, and many fish have died.” She sighed miserably. “I just wish I could find my conch piece!”
Molly was just about to reply to Pearl when she saw a bright light approaching through the gloomy water...followed by one of the most peculiar-looking creatures she’d ever seen. It was a round, brown fish, a little smaller than a netball, with staring eyes, a huge mouth, and scarily sharp lower teeth. The strangest thing of all was that the creature had a spike sticking straight out of its head with a glowing light on the end.
Molly stifled a scream and grabbed her friend’s hand. “Pearl,” she said, her voice trembling. “What’s that?”
A delicious series and one that is unapologetically girlie. The characters are enchanting and, like all Sue’s books, the attention to detail in her description is utterly perfect.
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