|Malamander (Legends of Eerie-on-Sea)|
Author: Taylor, Thomas
When Violet Parma appears at Herbie's door in the tourist town of Eerie-on-Sea insisting he find the parents who left her at the hotel a decade before, Herbie's investigative talents will be tested as the two are swept up in a mystery that involves a sinister man with a hook for a hand, a mysterious egg with extraordinary powers, and the elusive malamander--the legendary part-fish, part-man monster that holds the town in its thrall.
Download a Teacher's Guide
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.80
Points: 8.0 Quiz: 504899
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 4.40
Points: 12.0 Quiz: 77515
Kirkus Reviews (06/15/19)
School Library Journal (08/01/19)
Booklist (+) (08/01/19)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (+) (00/09/19)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 08/01/2019 *Starred Review* The resort of Eerie-on-Sea makes an appropriately named setting for the scary adventures of two orphaned (or seemingly orphaned) children who find themselves swept up in a scheme to seize the wish-granting egg of a legendary mer-creature (“half man, half fish, half goodness-knows-what”). Whether the Malamander even exists is a matter of much conjecture, but along with heavy fogs, weird howls, and spooky yarns spun around the sunken old battleship rusting just offshore, Taylor assembles the sort of supporting cast that makes anything seem possible—from Lady Kraken, enigmatic proprietor of the Grand Nautilus Hotel, who spies on the whole town through a moon-powered “cameraluna,” to oily, murderous author Sebastian Eels and a crazed undead mariner who “smells like something bad is about to happen.” That's to say nothing of the talking cat or the mechanical mer-monkey in the window of the Eerie Book Dispensary that will, for coins, recommend peculiarly useful titles. Odd encounters and narrow escapes set in motion by the arrival of Violet Parma, searching for parents who disappeared on the beach 12 years before, lead her and half-reluctant young Herbert Lemon, who himself washed up as a baby in a crate of lemons, to a desperate climactic struggle. A lack of firm resolution hints at future visits to this winningly strange town. Finished illustrations not seen. - Copyright 2019 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 08/01/2019 Gr 5–7—In the beach town of Eerie-on-Sea, "twelvish" orphan Herbert Lemon is the Lost-and-Founder at the old Grand Nautilus hotel. When, one winter night, Violet Parma drops through the cellar window, on the run from sinister forces and determined to find her parents who disappeared from the hotel when she was a baby, a friendship and an adventure begin. Their madcap search, with bold Violet spurring on reluctant Herbie, takes them to the Eerie Book Dispensary where an automaton—half-monkey, half-merman—provides book "prescriptions"; Mrs. Fossil's Flotsamporium where mysterious beachcomber findings are on offer; Dr. Thalassi's natural history museum; and sea mist–shrouded trips to the waterfront where an old shipwreck and a menacing sea creature, the eponymous malamander, lurk and threaten. Readers will be drawn in immediately by Herbie's chatty second-person voice. The fast-paced narrative includes subtle humor, clever plays on words, and rich cinematic details augmented by black-and-white illustrations and a map. Colorful characters, palpable atmosphere, close calls and some deliberately unanswered questions (how did little Herbie get washed up onshore in a lemon crate, and just what did happen to Violet's parents when they took a rowboat out to sea to find her?) will hook readers on this new British series and leave them eager for more. VERDICT A crowd-pleasing fantasy.—Marie Orlando, formerly at Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY - Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.