Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Review of The Magic Mirror of the Mermaid Queen by Delia Sherman

I wrote this review for the August issue of School Library Journal - find the complete list of reviews here.

SHERMAN, Delia. The Magic Mirror of the Mermaid Queen. 290p. map. Viking. 2009. Tr $17.99. ISBN 978-0-670-01089-9. LC number unavailable.

Gr 5–7—In this sequel to Changeling (Viking, 2006), Neef is sent to Miss Van Loon's School for Mortal Changelings. She had known there were other mortals in New York Between, a magical New York City filled with the Folk (elves, sprites, nymphs, ogres, and every other kind of otherworldly creature), but she hasn't met many. Suddenly she must go to school—and get along—with 200 of them, from all the rival Neighborhoods—snooty East Siders, hipster Village types, techie geeks from Columbia. If learning hundreds of new rules isn't bad enough, Neef must go on a quest to find the Magic Magnifying Mirror of the Mermaid Queen before its loss leads to inter-Neighborhood warfare that could destroy Central Park. Although the focus is on Neef's new mortal friends and enemies, the Folk of New York play a big part in her adventures. Whether benign or sinister, they are usually tricky and always fascinating; a guide in the back explains who and what they are. Plenty of humor, a brave and likable heroine, and a nice balance between lunchroom chat and wild adventure combine to make this that rare beast—a cheerful urban fantasy. Spiced with just enough background information, it works just fine on its own, but it will create immediate desire to read Changeling as well.—Eva Mitnick, Los Angeles Public Library

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