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The Merman

3.53  ·  Rating Details ·  108 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
While on vacation in Scotland on her tenth birthday, Zeta meets a wise, kindly old merman who teaches her not only to swim, but also many more fascinating things. So while Zeta's parents try to figure out why she now refuses to eat mackerel, Zeta has the adventure of her life.
Hardcover, 102 pages
Published August 31st 1999 by Knopf Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 1998)
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Of Poseidon by Anna BanksForgive My Fins by Tera Lynn ChildsTempest Rising by Tracy DeebsOf Triton by Anna BanksLost Voices by Sarah  Porter
Mermaid Books
98th out of 132 books — 61 voters
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83rd out of 98 books — 42 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 188)
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Apr 10, 2009 Josiah rated it liked it
I would give this book three and a half stars, and I seriously considered four.
I consider this story to be Dick King-Smith's best, at least among those that I have read. The feel is tremendously deep and resonant, and the writing style allows the reader to deeply feel Zeta's joy as she gets to know the magical merman Marinus, and also her sadness as the days of summer drift by, and she knows that she will have to say goodbye to her enchanting new friend at the end of the season.
The results ar
Rachel Inbar
May 20, 2013 Rachel Inbar rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Christy Graham
Feb 24, 2015 Christy Graham rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 12, 2011 Nina rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, childrens
This book wasn't my favorite out of Dick King-Smith's works. But it still gave me a sense of magic and fantasy like most of his books have. I started this a few days ago, but never continued it. Today, because I had nothing to do, I decided to go ahead and finish it. This book was a very quick read, seeing as it is for children.

Here we meet Zeta, a girl who's on vacation with her parents. She meets Marinus, a merman. He teaches Zeta many different things and shows her wonderful sights. It is a d
Kay Carman
Feb 23, 2016 Kay Carman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While on vacation in Scotland on her tenth birthday, Zeta meets a wise, kindly old merman who teaches her not only to swim, but to do many more fascinating things.
Jun 20, 2015 Zayneea rated it liked it
(I did not read the story - I listened to this as an audiobook instead.)
May 09, 2015 Logan rated it really liked it
Lovely story about Zeta, a 10-year-old girl vacationing on the remote North Scotland coast where she meets a merman who becomes her friend and teacher, helping her learn everything from swimming to French. Zeta is a bird-watcher and always carries her binoculars, so there the birds of that area make an appearance, as well as seals and whale sharks. The ending made me tear up. King-Smith has a real gift. Logan loved this one.
Jan 06, 2016 Marshanah rated it it was ok
I read this book when I was in like 3rd or 4th grade and back then I was completely enraptured by it. But now, I'm older, and know that were I to read this book today, It would not make it on my list of awesome books. I recommend it for younger age groups).
Kate B
Jun 03, 2015 Kate B rated it liked it
This came as a set with a number of other Dick King-Smith books. Suited for readers aged 6-9.
Mar 14, 2012 Annika rated it liked it
Shelves: physically-owned
read this when I was a kid. a story of true friendship.
Cori Cover
Apr 05, 2015 Cori Cover rated it really liked it
I really like this author for early chapter books.
Oct 02, 2016 Rachel rated it liked it
I honestly didn't care for this story as much as I did The Water-Horse or Babe. It was rather boring. Zeta meets the merman and he basically turns her vacation into school. The book is only 100 pages long but it covers about two weeks of time, so it's somewhat rushed.

As far as parental warning, the merman teaches the girl about the Zodiac. Other than that, it's pretty innocent.

I actually think I found the final two chapters more interesting than the rest of the book. They were more emotional and
Chanseng marked it as to-read
Sep 23, 2016
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Dick King-Smith was born and raised in Gloucestershire, England, surrounded by pet animals. After twenty years as a farmer, he turned to teaching and then to writing children's books.

Dick writes mostly about animals: farmyard fantasy, as he likes to call it, often about pigs, his special favorites. He enjoys writing for children, meeting the children who read his books, and knowing that they get
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