The Mermaid Call

The Mermaid Call

By Author / Illustrator

Alex Cotter


Friends and family

Age range(s)



Nosy Crow Ltd




Paperback / softback




A gripping story of myth and mystery about a legendary mermaid and her dark power. When the truth comes out, will it bring freedom or a terrible retribution?

Vivien's never going to win the Mermaid Crown and she knows it. Does she care? Who wants to be rewarded just for being pretty anyway? So she joins Alice on her quest to find the mermaid of the lake instead. But as the legend starts to unravel, it reveals an ugly truth. And leads the girls into terrible, watery danger...



Lake Splendour is a seaside town built around the myth of Lake Mermaid and the 'Mermaid Girls'. Vivian lives with her grandmother at a tourist shop called Enchanted Tails, one of many businesses which benefit from the story, like those of her friends Erik and Eleni. When some children at her school start to protest again the annual Mermaid ceremony, saying its pageant bestowing the Mermaid Crown and Neptune's Trident is sexist, Vivian becomes concerned about the impact this will have on the family business. At the same time, she meets a strange girl called Alice who is determined to find the mythical mermaid. Torn between her old friends and this new one, Vivian finds herself sucked into Alice's plan, facing danger and uncovering the truth about the past.

The Mermaid Call is an amazing story for so many reasons. First and foremost, it is superbly written with vivid settings and compelling characters which instantly engage the reader. The plot moves along at a pleasing place and there is plenty of tension before the very satisfying and rewarding conclusion. Vivian is such a relatable character. She adores her beautiful mother who is fickle and constantly feels that she is not good enough when her mother cancels her visits. Left self-conscious and vulnerable by these feelings of inadequacy and faced with the fact that one of her best friends, Eleni, seems to be siding with the protesters, Vivian is easy prey for the charming but selfish Alice, whose charms make her doubt herself and what she knows is right.

The story offers so much to discuss with children struggling with their sense of self worth or peer pressure. Other children in the story also find the courage to stand up and be themselves, offering such a positive, hopeful conclusion as the story challenges stereotypes and offers plenty to think about. The legend of the Mermaid Girls is cleverly worked through the story, but it is hard to say much about this without spoiling the read for others. This really is one you must read!

256 pages / Reviewed by Sue, teacher

Suggested Reading Age 9+


Want a great summer read which will keep you turning pages, wanting to know more? Then The Mermaid Call is the book for you. It's a cracking tale of intrigue, suffrage and being true to yourself. The characters ebb and flow (pardon the watery pun!) and how the theme of reinventing oneself shines throughout the text. So relevant for today's media-obsessed youngsters, while maintaining a more traditional mythological thread. Pure genius. Highly recommend this for upper key stage two children.

256 pages / Reviewed by Sharon, teacher

Suggested Reading Age 9+


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