Liz Kessler: Emily Windsnap and the Castle in the Mist (Orion Children’s Books 2006)
Emily Windsnap is a completely ordinary girl who lives with her mother in a small seaside town. The family’s only friend is the lighthouse keeper. However, Emily’s life changes when she discovers during a swimming lesson that her legs turn into tails in the water. Emily is the kind of girl who never looks for trouble, but always finds it… However, with her perseverance and kindness, she always solves problems and helps others. I read the first two volumes of the series last summer, and the third one this year. In this story, Emily finds a special ring that belongs to Neptune, the lord of the seas, thus angering the king (again). However, Emily doesn’t just have to put her own life in order, the fate of several people depends on her.
You might think this is just a light summer read, but Emily’s character and story are so finely nuanced and sensitive that everyone can find something to relate to. Emily, who is special because she is half-human, half-mermaid, has to face the same problems as any child of her age: arguments between her parents, conformity at school. I recommend it to both adults and children too.
Liz Kessler has written more than 20 books for children and young adults. In her children’s books, we usually read about mermaids, fairies, time travel and superpowers. The author grew up by the sea and still lives there. She loves the ocean; the Emily Windsnap series is also mostly inspired by the love of the sea and the author’s belief that special and magical things can happen to anyone. The volumes of the series have already been translated to 25 languages, appeared on the New York Times bestseller list and sold more than 5 million copies worldwide. The first volume was first published in English almost twenty years ago, in 2003. The series has 9 volumes, the first three books can be read in Hungarian.