Reviewed by Quincy
Anthoni Gillis has had a hard time making good friends. She has been going town to town with her mother her whole life helping her sell Beauty and the Bee cosmetics. She had used boxes of stationery writing to friends in many cities, but not a single one ever wrote back. One day, her mother announces that they are going to stay at the Showboat Resort on Thunder Lake. But when she hears rumors about a mermaid living in the lake, everything changes. I really loved this book and thought it was great! I like the smooth mix of mystery, action, friendship, and a little bit of fantasy. I liked how Josephine Cameron showed us so many different sides of the characters that you could really relate to. I absolutely recommend this book to anyone who likes mystery, friendship, and woodland adventures.— From Young Readers Advisory Board
A summer romp full of mystery, new friends, and maybe a mermaid!
Eleven-year-old Anthoni Gillis is not the kind of kid who believes in fairies, unicorns, or even the word “maybe.” She’s more of a comic-books girl. So when her mom brings her to Thunder Lake for a summer at the Showboat Resort, she doesn’t believe the local rumors about the Boulay Mermaid.
Anthoni has bigger fish to fry. She’s always wanted a True Blue Friend. But it’s been hard to find one, since for the past five years she’s been bouncing from town to town, helping her mother sell Beauty & the Bee cosmetic products to keep them both afloat. This summer will be different, though. Anthoni has a plan—a foolproof checklist for making lifelong friends! There won’t be any maybes this time.
But as she grows entangled in local gossip, and her mother stretches the truth, Anthoni must decide if she’ll “stick to the plan,” like always, or dive into a summer full of extraordinary possibilities.
Josephine Cameron’s energetic and heartfelt debut raises timeless questions about truth, lies, and the hope that grows between them.
About the Author
Josephine Cameron received her MFA in creative writing from the University of Notre Dame. She is the author Maybe a Mermaid and A Dog-Friendly Town. She lives in Maine, where she writes, sings, and teaches music to kids.
An Amazon Best Book of the Month!
"This impressive debut ultimately settles in realism with a refreshingly mischievous wink. An offbeat, earnest novel for those who believe in magic, and those who wish they did." —Booklist
"[A] debut novel that captures both the hopes and disillusionments of growing up . . . readers dive not only into Anthoni's maturation, but into her resiliency." —Kirkus Reviews
"Anthoni is an engaging heroine whose fears, desires, curiosity, and agency offer much for young readers to relate to, even when, or perhaps especially when, those qualities lead to social mistakes." —Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books