Cover image for Aquamarine
Hoffman, Alice.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Scholastic, 2001.
Physical Description:
105 pages : illustrations ; 19 cm
A love-struck mermaid named Aquamarine supplies adventure and insights to two twelve-year-old girls, life-long friends who are spending their last summer together before one of them moves away.
Reading Level:
940 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 5.6 1.0 58249.

Reading Counts RC 6-8 6.4 5 Quiz: 24376 Guided reading level: W.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
X Juvenile Fiction Central Closed Stacks
X Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



Hailey and Claire discover a mermaid at the bottom of the murky pool at the Capri Beach Club. On the edge of growing up, they learn that life is unpredictable, friendship is forever, and that magic can be found in the most unexpected places.

Author Notes

Alice Hoffman, an American novelist and screenwriter, was born in New York City on March 16, 1952. She earned a B.A. from Adelphi University in 1973 and an M.A. in creative writing from Stanford University in 1975 before publishing her first novel, Property Of, in 1977.

Known for blending realism and fantasy in her fiction, she often creates richly detailed characters who live on society's margins and places them in extraordinary situations as she did with At Risk, her 1988 novel about the AIDS crisis. Her other works include The Drowning Season, Seventh Heaven, The River King, Blue Diary, The Probable Future, The Ice Queen, and The Dovekeepers. Her book, The Third Angel, won the 2008 New England Booksellers' Award for fiction. Two of her novels, Practical Magic and Aquamarine, were made into films. She has also written numerous screenplays, including adaptations of her own novels and the original screenplay, Independence Day. Her title's The Museum of Exteaordinary Things, The Marriage of Opposites, Seventh Heaven, and The Rules of Magic made The New York Times Best Seller List.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 4^-7. Teens enjoy many of Hoffman's adult novels, which often focus on young women. Her first book for middle-graders is about 12-year-old girls, Hailey and Claire, who have been neighbors and best friends forever. They don't want anything to change, but as the searing summer draws to a close, Claire has to move to Florida, and the bulldozers are closing in on the girls' beloved hangout near the ocean. Then they find a beautiful mermaid, Aquamarine, huddled in the beach pool. They send her home to her ocean sisters, but first they help her find love and adventure with the handsome guy who works in the snack bar. Of course, in helping the stranger, the girls transform themselves and face the changes in their lives. What's great here is Aquamarine. She's is no romantic forsaken damsel: she's a rude, rebellious teenager, as needy as those who help her. In this small, spacious book, Hoffman's spare words reveal the magic and the gritty realism in daily life, "somewhere between laughter and a wave breaking." --Hazel Rochman

Publisher's Weekly Review

AQUAMARINE Alice Hoffman. Two best friends share a mysterious secret: a mermaid at the bottom of the pool. PW wrote, "Hoffman creates an apt metaphor for that twilight time between childhood and adolescence when magic still seems possible and friendships run deep and true." Ages 10-14. (Apr) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 5-6-Hailey and Claire, along with Raymond the snack-counter guy, are the only people who spend time at the Capri Beach Club, which has fallen on hard times. The best friends are ruefully counting down the days until Claire moves to Florida with her grandparents. When a storm washes a bad-mannered mermaid named Aquamarine into the club pool, she falls in love with Raymond and begs the girls to help her win his heart. They agree, on the condition that she returns to the sea after her "date" with him. This book has some wonderful elements-there is some vivid imagery, especially when it comes to the setting, with its waves of heat and air of decay. There are also some lovely balances between the girls as they gradually exchange roles as either brave or clever, and they seem to take turns accepting the girl who will inevitably move in next door. Unfortunately, the narration puts too much space between readers and the story, leaving them unengaged. There is also the more practical question of why the beach club is still open even though Claire and Hailey are the only two who come each day. Finally, one of the things that Hoffman seems to do best in her adult novels is leisurely create characters that can walk right out of the story. She doesn't have the time or space here to do that and the result, sadly, is a very boring mermaid and two dull girls suffering from separation anxiety.-Patricia A. Dollisch, DeKalb County Public Library, Decatur, GA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.