Reading/Interest Level: Primary, Intermediate, Young Adult
Author: Josephine Cameron
Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux Book for Young Readers
Anthoni Gillis has always dreamed of having a “True Blue Friend,” like her mom, Carrie, had growing up. Constantly moving around hasn’t made that easy, but she thought that maybe this summer would be different. Carrie surprises Anthoni on the last day of school with a packed car and plans to go to the Showboat Resort. Unfortunately, the resort is nothing like she pictured. The summer gets worse when Carrie admits the real reason they came to the Showboat—she is hiding from her debt. The Gillis girls make a plan—meet potentials, sell cosmetic products, and get out of debt by the end of the month. With the help of a mermaid, some small tricks, and a little magic, the summer turns around and the Gillis girls find out that a real “True Blue Friend” is often hiding in plain sight.
This book is a wonderful combination of adventure, family, and friendship. The story follows young Anthoni as she battles with feelings of insecurity and the fear of not having friends, a topic that is common among readers of all ages. The plot follows a theme and truly gives development and personality to all characters involved. Changes in family dynamics are portrayed throughout the book, eventually leading to resolution and renewed trust. Developing relationships with family and friends is the central theme of this book. The story of friendship is one that many readers can relate to. Josephine Cameron does a wonderful job of incorporating life lessons in a story that helps the reader see the magic that can happen in everyday life if only we take the time to look. This book is one that will be enjoyed by readers of all ages.