An underwater adventure awaits the readers of Deep Blue by Jennifer Donnelly (Lexile: HL 580; Interest Level: Grades 5-10). Seraphina is the Principessa of Miromara, meaning she will become the leader of her people. On the night before her Dokimi, a ceremony in which she pledges herself to her people and her future husband, she has a nightmare that she is being called by the Iele, mythical witches. Then during the Dokimi, her people are attacked and her mother shot with a poisoned arrow.
Sera and her best friend Neela must now swim for their lives and decide what to do next. Should they swim toward the Iele, the witches they believe are mythical beings made up to scare them as children? Who can they trust to help them along the way? What is the cause of the unrest within the waters? The girls must use their own wits, magic, and strengths to propel them through. This novel contains a lot of interesting puns (money is currensea, for instance), and a few questionable words disguised in "sea" language. I found it sometimes hard to get into the mermaid feel of this story, sometimes feeling the world was "forced." I am sure that any fans of mermaids, however, would really enjoy this first book in the Waterfire Saga. (368 p.)
One of the reasons I became an elementary school librarian is so I can read children's books.