Soraya and the Mermaid Trade Book (Hardcover)

Written By Salima Alikhan
Illustrated by Atieh Sohrabi, Jennifer Naalchigar
Critically Reviewed
Award Winner
It’s not easy being the weirdest kid in fourth grade. Soraya finds her escape reading comic books about a space superhero who saves the day. But everything changes when Soraya’s class goes on a field trip to an aquarium. Is that really a mermaid in the big tank, talking to Soraya and asking for her help? Can Soraya rise to the occasion and save the day like her superhero idol?
  1. Hardcover
    Price $15.95
SKU WW-NL5475
ISBN 9781478868156
Number Level 34
Letter Level O
SKU WW-NL5475
ISBN 9781478868156
Number Level 34
Lexile level 570L
Letter Level O
Series Reycraft Books
Language English
BISAC Subject Headings Mermaids
Juvenile Fiction / Religious / Christian / Friendship
Juvenile Fiction / Social Issues / Friendship
Juvenile Fiction / Readers / Chapter Books
Mermaids
Juvenile Fiction / Religious / Christian / Friendship
Juvenile Fiction / Social Issues / Friendship
Juvenile Fiction / Readers / Chapter Books
Price $15.95
Awards

Bank Street College of Education Best Book of 2021

Author & Illustrator

Salima Alikhan

Salima Alikhan has been a writer and illustrator for fourteen years. She lives in Austin, Texas, where she writes and illustrates children’s books. She's also a college English and creative writing professor. When she went on school field trips as a child, she liked to imagine what sorts of creatures might be lurking in some of those fun places. She wrote stories and drew pictures about those creatures, and loves that she still gets to do that. Her books and art can be found online at www.salimaalikhan.net.

Atieh Sohrabi & Jennifer Naalchigar

Atieh Sohrabi was born and raised in Tehran, Iran, and currently lives in New York City with her family. She started her career in industrial design before switching to a new path in illustrations. Her first illustrated book, published in 2002, received first prize in the 5th Tehran International Biennale Illustration. Since then, her books have appeared in exhibitions and museums around the world, winning numerous international awards.

Jennifer Naalchigar is an illustrator based in Hertfordshire, England. She has a love for quirky characters and funny stories and enjoys experimenting vvith digital brushes. Jen can often be found doodling with her tablet in her local coffee shop. She also enjoys reading picture books to her daughter. She works in children's and educational publishing and particularly enjoys projects featuring adventurous and clever heroines, just like Estelle!

Reviews

A sweet story of a forming friendship and how there are positives to being different.  —Kirkus Reviews

Soraya is a creative girl who marches to the beat of her own drum. She feels isolated from her fourth grade classmates and is most comfortable in the world of her comic book hero, Nimbla Moony. A class trip to the aquarium yields an unexpected surprise when Soraya is approached by a young mermaid who needs help returning to the sea. How can Soraya get Estelle safely out of the building to the nearby bay without detection? Does she have what it takes to be brave like her hero? Alikhan offers a fresh take on contemporary fantasy for the chapter book set with this diverse cast of characters, perfect for kids who struggle with fitting in with their peers. Soraya finally connects with a friend who accepts her quirks. Estelle can certainly relate, since her STEM-focused desire to design underwater buildings is atypical mermaid behavior. By the book's end, Soraya starts to learn to love herself and to trust others, as she and Estelle must accept help from various sea creatures to pull off the escape. This is an appropriate fit for the intended audience. The text is large, the margins wide, the vocabulary manageable, and the plot and conflict are straightforward. Large full-color illustrations can be seen every couple of pages—Soraya is depicted with light skin and dark hair, Estelle has dark brown skin and curly black hair, and the rest of the cast are drawn with a range of skin tones. Colorful boarders bedazzle every page, helping readers to keep up interest. A comic book section at the end illustrates Soraya's imaginings of what happens to Estelle upon returning to the sea, demonstrating to readers that our hero has found her niche in creating her own comics. Perfect for fans of Debbie Dadey's "Mermaid Tales," Abby Hanlon's "Dory Fantasmagory," and Wanda Coven's "Heidi Heckelbeck" series. VERDICT An easy choice for mermaid lovers and any transitional chapter book reader who likes their fiction laced with a bit of magic.

—School Library Journal Reviewer

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