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Hannah (Daughters of the Sea, #1)
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Hannah (Daughters of the Sea #1)

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  3,302 Ratings  ·  296 Reviews
Daughters of the Sea tells the story of 3 mermaid sisters who are separated at birth by a storm and go on to lead three very different lives. Book 1 is about Hannah, who spent her early days in an orphanage and is now a scullery maid in the house of rich, powerful family. She is irresistibly drawn to the sea and through a series of accidents and encounters discovers her tr ...more
Hardcover, 310 pages
Published September 1st 2009 by Scholastic, Inc.
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The Aquamarine If you like mermaid and the ocean, then it is really good!!!

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
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Feb 13, 2012 rated it it was ok
So, what's with the demonic cat and the strange bond with the crazy eldest daughter? And what about the two vases? Are they some sort of portal? And does she really play the harp naked that night or did the author just forget that she told us Hannah likes to sleep naked because her sheets are softer than her nightdress? And the painter, does he regularly go after 15 year old girls?

You know, for all the questions the author brings up and doesn't bother to answer, the plot is spread thinly. There
Jun 13, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s, fantasy, ya
WARNING: This review contains spoilers, very general or from early in the book, in the penultimate paragraph.

This book was so odd-kind of like Upstairs, Downstairs with mermaids. Which could be really cool, if the plot had lived up to the world-building. Instead, it felt like the author wanted to show off the research she had done on the life of domestic servants in the late 19th century, and leave the supernatural elements as an afterthought. The result is a book that doesn't feel at all driven
Madison Calhoun
Jul 21, 2011 rated it did not like it
Don't have time to write a full review. I probably will later.
In short though, this book is really slow and dull. The characters lacked any luster for me and the most unique ones were introduced at the end. The main character, Hannah, was boring, too innocent, and just not easy to relate to. Plot wise, it was awful. I knew the ending before I even read the book, simply based on the description. There's no guessing involved at all. The only interesting part is the younger girl in the house that H
Aug 28, 2009 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: fans of historical fiction or mermaids
Hannah is the story of one of three mermaid sisters who were separated at birth at the end of the 19th century. The story starts out with her living in an orphanage in Boston. Once the orphans turn 14 they have to work, most often as servants for wealthy families. Hannah is found to be unsuitable for living in one of these homes because she is outspoken and smarter than the average girl, so she's stuck on an orphan train destined for Kansas to work on a farm. On the train she develops a rash and ...more
Mundie Moms & Mundie Kids
I received this book to review from Scholastic, and while it was wholesome and a good clean read, I found that there were too many characters that got developed too late in the book. Hannah had a great story that was lost with the development of the other characters, some of whom didn't play a huge role in her story. I felt that the middle of the book should have spent more time in developing Hannah's story, instead of towards the very end of the book.

The middle of the book talked about or had
Aug 25, 2009 rated it liked it
I really got into this book. But as with all books there are pros and cons. This book was 2/3rds about servent life in the turn of the century with a very tiny part spent on the actual mermaid part. As a fan of mermaids I would have loved to see more then 5 pages dedicated to it, but alas it wouldn't be a series if we jumped to the good parts.

There's romance, drama, and a couple of boring interactions or details that could have been left out but over all it's a good book

I will pick up the seri
Oct 31, 2016 rated it liked it
I gave this more of a 2.5 ratings. My issue with this was that it never really dealt with the mermaid issue until the very end of the book. It was mostly her time living and working for the rich family. If it had dealt more with her being a mermaid then I would have enjoyed it more.
Aug 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
I just finished this book. I really liked the writing. I could step into to a whole different world while reading this book-a world of 19th century America, maids, love, ocean, and wishes.
It’s 1899. Hannah is an orphan and, at 15 years old, can no longer be supported by the orphanage. When she is sent inland (from Boston), she has an odd skin reaction and soon after ends up back in Boston where the sea air seems better for her. She finds a job as a scullery maid, and meets a painter who seems to be able to sense something about her…

I really liked this. It’s YA, so very quick to read. The author has some beautiful descriptions. Quickly glancing at other reviews, some people didn’
May 24, 2018 rated it it was ok
Why wasn't this good? I was so disappointed.
Oct 26, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: library
Hannah has lived in the Boston Home for Little Wanderers all her life. As the other orphan girls dream of being the long, lost daughter of a wealthy family whom they will eventually be reunited with and live happily ever after, Hannah has never had such dreams. Instead, all she dreams of is the sea... the salt water, the sea breeze, a cottage to live in with a view of the ocean. She has always been different from the other girls and they have definitely made her feel the outcast. As she reaches ...more
Aug 27, 2009 rated it really liked it
Hannah has always felt like she doesn’t belong. Others sense it too and sometimes steer clear of her. But Hannah’s difference is not something she can control. She never wanted to become seriously ill when she was away from the ocean, and she has no idea why she seems to leave salt everywhere and has a faint trace of scales on her skin. But while these strange characteristics are intriguing, they’re also dangerous; should anyone else discover Hannah’s true nature, she would become a permanent ou ...more
Aug 27, 2009 rated it really liked it
The other orphan girls at the Boston Home for Little Wanderers fantasize that they are secretly the long-lost daughters of wealthy families, or even of royalty. Hannah harbors no such dreams. What she doesn't know, however, is that her heritage is the strangest of all. When she is packed off to live in dry landlocked Kansas and falls deathly ill, she begins to realize that she's not like other girls.

Desperate, Hannah returns to Boston and finds a job as a scullery maid with the wealthy Hawley fa
Nov 22, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 01, 2009 rated it really liked it
For starters, this is definitely a middle grade book. I didn't know that when I received it but it was pretty obvious once I started reading it. It wasn't that a young adult wouldn't like it, it was more that it was just a really easy book for me to read and didn't have anything really explicit in it, unlike most YA books these days. =]

Hannah was a likable enough character and she definitely gained my sympathy from her situation. The only problem was that she was super quiet and I felt that she
Stacey O'Neale
Jul 27, 2011 rated it liked it
This review was completed by Camille Morales, staff reviewer with the YA Fantasy Guide.

This Book is about a girl named Hannah, who is an orphan. She spent all of her life in an orphanage up until she turns 14—or 15, I think. Anyway, she starts working as a scullery maid in the house of this really rich family. There are things happening to Hannah, things that have to do with the sea. She’s inexplicably drawn to it, and some things happen that end up making her discover who she really is. And the
Maggie Ollmann
Sep 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
personal response:

I think the book Hannah is a good book. The part I enjoyed the most was that Hannah found her place. This book was not what I was looking for in the first place, but I enjoyed this story. I liked reading about the story of Hannah finding who she is.


The girls at the orphanage who wear 14 years old, hadto learn will where they will be sent. All the other girls dreamed of there placement, Hannah did not think much of it. Hannah was being put on orphan train, and was not get
The Winter Rose
Dec 03, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: young-adult
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Miki Garrison
Mar 29, 2010 rated it liked it
Hannah is very clearly the first book of a series, and is about an orphan girl turned scullery maid who discovers that she has a secret connection to the sea. The premise sounded cute and full of some intriguing possibilities, and the author is known for some really interesting historical fiction and non-fiction both, so I was excited to read this book. And parts of the book met my expectations -- the setting seemed alive, the historical details were vividly sprinkled in without seeming pedantic ...more
Reading Teen
Mar 12, 2010 rated it liked it
Living in 1899, fifteen-year-old Hannah is a strong, smart, hardworking girl, who is both self-aware and at the same time, completely naive and innocent. Even though she tries very hard to fit in, deep down she knows that she is different. From the strange sickness that she develops whenever she is away from the ocean, to the bizarre salt crystals that she sheds, and the constant longing to be in the water, Hannah realizes there is more to her life than what she is now. Meeting some very interes ...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by LadyJay for

Hannah is different from the other orphans. She feels an inexplicable pull towards the sea. She can't explain it and discusses it with no one.

Because Hannah is deemed unfit for service, she is turned out of the Boston Home for Little Wanderers. She is sent west on the orphan train. Hannah becomes deathly ill the further away she gets from the ocean. Thankfully, Hannah is sent back to Boston, and finds placement with a prominent family.

The Hawleys are extre
Feb 28, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
Young-adult middle grade read, very tame romance elements.

The first in a new series that will definitely get some buzz as it seems to play into the public's fascination with mystical and fantasy creatures. Set in the 1920's, a young orphan girl finds herself working for a wealthy family in Boston. The family has three daughters and decide to hire a talented young painter to capture their portrait. Sarah, the orphan girl, feels a mysterious connection to the painter - and inexplicably to the sea
Miranda Kaake
Feb 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 12, 2010 rated it liked it
I think I would have enjoyed this more if I had not been reading "A Countess Below Stairs" at the same time. They are basically the same trope: teenage girl who is more than she seems takes a position as a domestic for a wealthy family in the early 20th century. And Ibbotson's book swept me away. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed this book! It is just unfortunate that I was reading the two similar books concurrently. 'Countess' is aimed at a slightly older audience, also.

This book was too short- you
Nov 30, 2009 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 09, 2016 rated it liked it
This book was so strange. I never really felt like I was reading the book, you never get to know Hannah. The book had almost nothing to do with mermaids until the last thirty pages, when I start reading a mermaid book, I expect the story to be about Hannah becoming a mermaid. Not some demonic cat with an insane owner, or some creepy portrait painter. However it was an easy read and some parts were somewhat enjoyable.
Aug 13, 2010 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy
Overly simplistic, very predictable. The set up for the next book in the series happens in the last paragraph, leaving me wondering why I'd just spent 300 pages to only get a promise of action. The whole thing could have been edited down to 75-100 pages and served as a decent introduction to whatever comes next. Which I won't know about since I have no intention of following up.
Dec 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing
i thought it was very good, and i'm not just saying that because the title is my name.
Dec 11, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Young adults
This first part of a series promises to tell the story of Hannah, one of 3 mermaid sisters who are separated at birth by a storm, and go on to lead three very different lives. Hannah has spent her early years in an orphanage in Boston, a not uncommon experience for the time (children of unknown parentage, or those of divorced parents, often wound up in orphanages and were then sent to workhouses via an "orphan train".)

Hannah, at age 15, is considered unsuitable for any position which requires he
Jun 19, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: teen, juvenile-books
I thought this was a book about mermaids. Where are the mermaids??

Seriously, the book jacket explains to us that the main character Hannah is a mermaid from the beginning, so from page one and on it's very clear that the strange things happening to her body through the expansion of the book are because she's a mermaid. And as she keeps asking herself over and over again "What am I?" and "What's happening to me?" we already know. In turn I wondered what the finale of this story was going to be, a
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Play Book Tag: Daughters of the Sea: Hannah / Kathryn Lasky. 4 stars 1 15 Jul 11, 2018 08:54PM  
Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Mar 12, 2015 12:28PM  
Did you Like this Book? 11 15 Oct 30, 2013 09:46AM  
  • The Secret of the Emerald Sea
  • Fins
  • Siren's Call (Dark Tides #1)
  • The Mermaid's Mirror
  • Seven Tears Into the Sea
  • Forbidden Sea (Forbidden Sea, #1)
  • In Great Waters
  • Real Mermaids Don’t Wear Toe Rings (Real Mermaids, #1)
  • The Deep (Ingo, #3)
  • Promises (Syrenka, #1)
  • The Mermaid's Pendant
  • Waking Storms (Lost Voices, #2)
  • Siren's Storm (Siren's Storm, #1)
  • Between the Land and the Sea (Marina's Tales, #1)
  • Selina Penaluna
  • Ascension (Water, #1)
  • Between the Sea and Sky
  • Lure (Siren's Call, #1)
Kathryn Lasky is the American author of many critically acclaimed books, including several Dear America books, several Royal Diaries books, 1984 Newbery Honor winning Sugaring Time, The Night Journey, and the Guardians of Ga'Hoole series.
She was born June 24, 1944, and grew up in Indianapolis, Indiana, and is married to Christopher Knight, with whom she lives in Massachusetts.

Book 15, The War of
More about Kathryn Lasky

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“I am like glass to him, like water, Hannah thought to herself, alone now in the music room, heart racing. He sees through me, but how? Page: 97” 5 likes
“I am like glass to him, like water . .” 3 likes
More quotes…