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The Tail of Emily Windsnap (Emily Windsnap #1)

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  17,741 Ratings  ·  1,615 Reviews
A young girl learns she’s half mermaid and plunges into a scheme to reunite with her father in this entrancing, satisfying tale that beckons readers far below the waves.
For as long as she can remember, twelve-year-old Emily Windsnap has lived on a boat. And, oddly enough, for just as long, her mother has seemed anxious to keep Emily away from the water. But when Mom finall
Hardcover, 211 pages
Published April 12th 2004 by Candlewick Press (first published 2003)
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Lola  Reviewer
Emily Windsnap’s life changes in a split second during swim practice.

You see, she’s a mermaid. But she had no idea. And when she discovers the truth, she opens herself to a whole new world of uncertainties and secrets waiting to be discovered.

Such as, where is her father? Why did he leave her? Was it even his choice?

Emily is a lot like the heroine from HAVE YOU SEEN JESSICA JENKINS? from the same author. She’s energetic, curious, courageous and adventurous. They also have the same voice.

I liked
Mary ♥
Dec 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: faves
Let's be honest, this book helped me be strong through bullying, with its magical worlds
(first 'review')

Eighth reread:
Still the same strong feeling of warmth, peace and safeness
this means so much to me I cannot even describe it
It gave me the strength to love myself, and smile again, and it taught me to be brave and hope for the best.
And yes, I know this is not a proper review
So, I am just going to let a little something in here, that hopefully will make you understand how I feel about this

Apr 29, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fascinating book about a girl who discovers herself is a mermaid, and she explores the secrets of her life.
Aug 27, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
Very, very cute book about a girl who, at the age of twelve, has never been fully immersed in water. Although she lives on a house boat, her mother is deathly afraid of water so Emily's never been swimming. The boat is so small there's no room for a bathtub. When she finally takes swimming lessons in school, low and behold she discovers she's a mermaid. Well, sort of...she's got legs when she's out of water, and a tail when she's immersed in water.

Emily is especially endearing because she's alwa
I first read this book in 5th grade and ended up re-reading it and buying the box set in high school for the nostalgia. As a children's book I really loved it so much and it just fed my still on-going dream of being a mermaid.
Apr 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wowser. I stumbled upon this book at Barnes and Noble yesterday and have been quickly turning pages ever since. Hold on...another British author who writes youth fiction that is both fun AND intelligent? How have I missed these books by Liz Kessler? This, the first Emily Windsnap book, was published a decade ago.

While this book was written for children, it captivated this grown-up to the point of needing to know NOW. It is a rare book that delivers both suspense and satisfaction in this day and
Mar 11, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Absolutely nobody!
Read this book to my 7 year old daughter. Had been really looking forward to reading it, & ordered it from the library, as there are follow up novels to this which we were hoping to enjoy too. I am giving this book allowances for the fact that it is a children's book, and as such is geared towards and written for a young, unsophisticated audience.

It was bad, bad, bad. I was absolutely bored to tears with the dreary, thoroughly unlikeable, two dimensional characters, and the erratic and moron
The Tail of Emily Windsnap is an enchanting story about a girl, Emily, who is part mermaid. She does not realize that she is different until she takes a swim class in seventh grade. When she gets into the water she grows a tail and becomes a mermaid. Emily tries to understand why she is like this as she swims through the ocean. Luckily she meets a good friend underwater, and starts to explore her past. Emily and her friend work together to solve her family mysteries while building their friendsh ...more
Jul 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: girls the age to (8-12)
I think the book The tail of Emily Winsnap is a great book bacause it is iniersting and it is a book where a girl discovers she is a mirmade.Emily and her mom have been living on a boat her hole life.Her mom has never said a word about her father but she knows she will figer out something. One day when Emilys at a pool her legs start to cramp,and she feels as her legs come together forming a tail.She doges out of the pool and knew something strange happened.That night she sneaks away to the ocea ...more
Dawn (& Ron)
What a sparkling, fun read! Emily Windsnap is 12 years old, funny, thoughtful and at times head strong and stubborn. She is starting her first day of 7th grade. Her new middle school is ten times bigger than elementary school and so confusing to her but not everyone else, her best friend is no longer her best friend, she is being picked on and she wonders why mom has never really told her about her dad. Then she learns she has something new and different to be concerned about. What if people fin ...more
Sarah Little
Mar 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Tail of Emily Windsnap is a great fantasy book about a 12 - year - old girl discovering who she is. All of her life Emily has stayed away from oceans and pools, thanks to her mother's warning of water being dangerous and scary. Finally, in her PE swim class, Emily is forced to swim and learns she is part mermaid. She doesn't tell anyone and quickly gets out of the water before any of her classmates can notice her long, beautiful tail. After many nights of sneaking out of her house, she disco ...more
Apr 10, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 2nd-grade girls
You know that book you read as child and randomly find at the library and think "can it possibly be as good as I remember?" Sometimes the answer is an unequivocal yes (see: anything by Beverly Clearly), other times a disheartening no (see: the Mandie series). Sometimes they're so bad you're a bit embarrassed to admit you read and loved them in the first place. The Tail of Emily Windsnap falls squarely in the latter category with the sad addition (in my case) of no residual adoration since I neve ...more
A young girl finds out the truth about her father, whom she hasn't even met. Very original plot, isn't it? The action is predictable and even mawkish, especially at the end.
I expected an interesting construction of the world ruled by mermaids, but it was described superficially - the colours and shapes of fish and seaweeds was the main thing that we know about the place of the action. Some elements are also completely naive - for example, how could laptops work under water? Moreover, how coul
Corynne G
May 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Tale of Emily Windsnap is about a girl named Emily. She lives with her mom in a small house boat. Her mom and dad divorced a couple years ago when she was very little. Emily has always liked to swim, but her mom never let her. One day she took a swim lesson at her school and something very strange happend when she got into the water. A couple days after she swam she found out that she was half human half mermaid.
I give this book 4 stars because it was a really interesting book and it's ver
This seemed like a story someone would write if they were told they HAD to put out another book in a certain time frame, so they just picked a formula and threw it together. It had very little development behind it. And I didn't find the characters believable, which was too bad, because even a formulaic story (which, let's face it, stories are basically formulaic) can be saved if the characters are believable. So this was a disappointing first encounter with Liz Kessler books, which looked promi ...more
Jul 24, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Girl discovers she turns into a mermaid in water. Fine as it goes, but I wish the mermaid society had been a *little* more imaginative. Basically, it's exactly the same as human society: kids go to school, there are shops, government, courts and jail, etc. Even the author seemed to forget they were underwater (as when a mermaid pulls out a hankie to wipe away a tear.) Just disappointing.
Feb 10, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Parents to read with 8-11 yr old kids
Shelves: read-with-emma
My daughter was given this as a Birthday gift and we just finished reading together as our before bed chapter book. It was very enjoyable for me as well as for her -- a good mystery and well written too. It's always great when we find a book we both enjoy and that is appropriate for both kids and adults.
Ying Ying
Sep 29, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone!
Shelves: fantasy
This is a really really good book! I brought this book along with me even when i went to Korea!! (and I live in Malaysia). Emily, a half-mermaid, tries to save her father imprisoned for having a relationship with her mother. and in the end, the happy family were together again.
it was good nothing compared to any of the twilight books but still realy good!
Olivia (thebeautyofreading)
I read this book/ series when I was around 13 and I loved it so much. It's such a good story about a mermaid/ girl! I can't remember all the details now but I remember thoroughly enjoying this story and following Emily Windsnap through her books. It's aimed more towards middle school I'd say and from what I can remember there isn't any romance and definitely not any with Emily but it's so adventurous and thrilling. So if you like that kind of thing go read his super cute book!
Sierra Brown
I think that this book could be better but the series is amazing my favorite book is Emily windsnap and the monster of the deep!!!!!!!!
I loved this book as a child, I found Emily relatable, I loved reading about her adventures and she was a rock for me when I was 13 because I'd quite abruptly ended up without a close circle of friends at the time. However, when I picked it back up last week, I breezed through it in a couple of hours, which would be great if Emily wasn't tedious to read about. I'll admit, I don't like listening to 12/13 year olds bemoan their life and how the world is against them, so reading about it in a book ...more
Aug 28, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: juniorhigh
The book The Tail of Emily Windsnap is about a girl who finds out she is really a mermaid in the water and a person on land. Her mother doesnt really know about it but she still wants to know who her father was. Another mermaid named Shona helps her reasearch about her father and pretty soon its known that her father is imprissoned. After a long time they decide to help out and tell her mother but it seems her "Friend" has wiped out her memory. They go throguh to the King but it looks like they ...more
Jul 18, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Tail of Emily Windsnap
by Liz Kessler
Cindy Xu

The tail of Emily Windsnap is a tale that you would want to read over and over again. It is about a girl who finds out that she is a mermaid and she goes in seeking for her father in the sea. She meets new friends and reunits with her father. But trouble is at the end of the book when Emily gets caught. This book is amazing with alot of details and descriptions.

Do u believe in mermaids? Wouldnt it be so cool if you were like Emily Windsnap to b

Michelle Wu
Jan 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think that this book was awsome & cool. My favorite parts are when Emily meets Shona & when Emily meets her dad (such a daughter-fatherly moment). & also when Emily's mother was sleeping in on a Sunday, - to me it's hilarious . The part that I really pictured in my head was when Emily pinched her father & they talked normally but i thought it was gonna be an awkward silence. My favorite character was Shona Silkfin, cause, she's just me, always there for her friend - like a side ...more
Kathleen Dixon
Feb 11, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kathleen by: the Bookshop
This is a nice little book about a girl who suddenly discovers she's a mermaid. Yes, I know, you'd think the tail would have given it away .... But she's mixed-species - her mother's human and her father's merman, but Emily has never known her father (to her memory, anyway) and so is ignorant of all that. Her mother is scared of water, and has brought Emily up to also be scared of water. So she's never found out that water turns her into her mer-self!

It's a cute story, though not one I'd tell my
Nov 04, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
The tail of Emily Windsnap is about a thirteen year old girl who is still figuring out who she is.When she was little her father (mysteriously)disappeared without anyone knowing where he is.One day Emily finally gets to take swimming lessons after constantly begging her mom,but when its Emily's turn to get in the water she makes an unfortunate discovery about her and who she is...a MERMAID!!!!!

The book was really good. Although there were some parts where I was completely lost in and didn't know
Mar 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was one of the best books. It is about a girl named Emily Windsnap. She is just a normal girl, well she thinks she is normal. She has never been swimming in her life or has never even been in a bath tub full of water. Emily lives on a boat but never goes swimming in the she begs and begs her mom to let her take swimming lessons that are being held at her jr.high. When she starts her swimming lessons she realizes that she is a really natural swimmer...................... Emily only ...more
Apr 01, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: children and book lovers
Shelves: childrens
My daughter Emilee got this book as a gift from my mom along with the second one in the series. She tried to read it and it was too boring for her. I decided that I would give it a try. I will say that the first 4-5 chapters really go into too much detail describing surroundings (which is why Emilee didn't like it) but once you are past that, the story is actually quite good. It is a childrens book and not deep. Sometimes when I read a childrens book I find myself loving the story but getting re ...more
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Fantasy 2 5 Feb 29, 2016 06:30PM  
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Have you read this book? If you have please comment. 22 49 Feb 10, 2015 09:34AM  
Liz Kesslers Other Series. 5 10 Jul 07, 2014 12:22PM  
  • Tide Knot (Ingo, #2)
  • Diary of a Fairy Godmother
  • Teenage Mermaid
  • Aquamarine (Water Tales, #1)
  • Once Upon a Curse (Tales of the Frog Princess, #3)
  • Forbidden Sea (Forbidden Sea, #1)
  • The Summer of Moonlight Secrets
  • Beck Beyond the Sea (Tales of Pixie Hollow, #10)
  • Fairy Dust and the Quest for the Egg (Disney Fairies #1)
  • Rani in the Mermaid Lagoon (Tales of Pixie Hollow, #5)
  • Sirena
  • The Charm Bracelet (Fairy Realm, #1)
  • Dulcie's Taste of Magic (Tales of Pixie Hollow, #11)
  • In a Blink
  • The Meanest Doll in the World (Doll People, #2)
  • Beck and the Great Berry Battle (Tales of Pixie Hollow, #3)
  • Real Mermaids Don’t Wear Toe Rings (Real Mermaids, #1)
  • Olivia Kidney
Liz Kessler is the author of three novels about Philippa Fisher as well as the NEW YORK TIMES best-selling Emily Windsnap series. She lives in Manchester, England.
More about Liz Kessler...

Other Books in the Series

Emily Windsnap (6 books)
  • Emily Windsnap and the Monster from the Deep (Emily Windsnap, #2)
  • Emily Windsnap and the Castle in the Mist (Emily Windsnap, #3)
  • Emily Windsnap and the Siren's Secret (Emily Windsnap, #4)
  • Emily Windsnap and the Land of the Midnight Sun (Emily Windsnap, #5)
  • Emily Windsnap and the Ship of Lost Souls (Emily Windsnap, #6)
“The tail of Emily Windsnap"everyone has a secret . mines alittle different. i figured out i am a mermaid.” 25 likes
“But remember, it’s just between you and me!” 2 likes
More quotes…