|Comb of wishes|
Author: Stringfellow, Lisa
Twelve-year-old Kela is still mourning her mother when she finds a mermaid's comb while she and her friend are looking for sea glass on her Caribbean island; such combs have magic in them, and touching it opens a connection to the mermaid Ophidia who can grant her wish, to bring her mother back to life--but all wishes have consequences, and magic demands a price which may prove to be more painful than the loss of her mother.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.70
Points: 6.0 Quiz: 516025
Kirkus Reviews (12/15/21)
School Library Journal (02/01/22)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/01/22)
The Hornbook (00/03/22)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 01/01/2022 It’s been months since Kela lost her mother. Grieving and heartbroken, she pushes away those around her, since no one can fill the void left by her mom. When walking along the St. Rita beach in search of sea glass, or mermaid tears, she discovers a very curious-looking box with a beautiful comb inside. Unbeknownst to her at the time, the comb belongs to a mermaid named Ophidia who wants to get back what is hers. In exchange for her comb, Ophidia offers to grant Kela one wish. Kela immediately knows what she wants to wish for, though Ophidia warns her that every grand wish comes at a price. Is Kela ready to accept the consequences of her wish in order to have her mother back? Stringfellow’s middle-grade debut is a wondrous and original story that incorporates Caribbean culture and folklore. Told in alternating points of view between Kela and Ophidia, the novel leads us through a story about family that spans hundreds of years and will captivate readers until the end. - Copyright 2022 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 02/01/2022 Gr 5–8—Readers will be invested in the twisted tale of Black middle schooler Kela and Ophidia, an aging, vindictive mermaid. Kela is still reeling from the abrupt loss of her mother in a car accident. Her father has been drowning in his grief, and she feels emotionally frozen in place. While visiting the local coral reef in St. Rita one day, Kela grudgingly lets Lissy tag along. The girls used to be inseparable, but Kela has refused to open up to her close friend after her mother's death. Kela feels drawn to an odd object on the coral reef and barely manages to grab the strange item to place in her bag before the tide washes everything away. Through alternating narrators, readers learn that the treasure Kela discovered is a magical comb belonging to Ophidia, who is enraged that someone has taken her comb but is bound under strict magical law to grant a wish to the person who returns the item to her. Of course, the devastated Kela desires nothing else in the world but having her mom back. Kela makes the wish for her mother's return, but would never have guessed the terrifying consequences. Kela's heartbreak rings true as she struggles to navigate healing over her mother's loss. Ophidia's backstory is equally intriguing. Characters are engaging, and the narrative will hook young bibliophiles to the end. VERDICT A unique blend of Caribbean folklore and realistic grief with a vindictive mermaid twist. Hand to fans of mermaid tales, general fantasy lovers, and readers seeking a rare gem in the genre.—Julie Shatterly - Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.