Lindsay Littleson has written another fantastic fast-paced middle grade novel in ‘Secrets of the Last Merfolk’, with illustrations by Samantha Woo.
The Holiday cottage in Dunlyre on the west coast of Scotland is Finn’s home for the next week. Surrounded by family that seem to annoy him at every turn, he heads to the beach and lets the wind wash away his worries. All is not what it seems in the ice-cold waters of the churning sea, especially when he’s convinced he’s seen the flick of a merfolk tail and heard the murmur of their legendary song. Deep down he knows what he saw but would others believe him?
When Sage finds a battered and broken kayak, she spends every free moment fixing it up and making it float freely once again. She feels at peace on the sea, free from taunts made by the kids at her new school who make fun of her second-hand clothes and refuse to talk to her because they consider her ‘weird’. On the sea she is calm, aware of every wave and rush of wind she steers through. When she begins to hear the merfolk songs too, she doubts her own mind and rushes back to shore only to discover a special box left for her to find. A secret she can’t tell a living soul.
When Sage and Finn meet, they soon discover they’re the only humans in the village who can hear and see the wonderful inhabitants who live in the depths off their gusty shore. When Finn decides to swim over to investigate Grey Island, legend tells that this is where the merfolk live, a sudden storm puts his life in danger and he is rescued by Sage in her kayak as the weather closes in, but only just. In their moment of dire need, they both witness the merfolk helping them back to dry land, saving both their lives and proving that they’re not seeing things after all. When Finn finds a silver key clutched in his hand that’s connected with the box found by Sage, do they dare to open it? Will it be treasure or trash? A pearl or a prank?
City builders have descended and plan to change the idyllic setting into a tourist attraction (Finn’s dad is involved), not only endangering the dolphins and marine life that exist in the bay but If the plans are approved, the last remaining merfolk are in danger of being wiped out for good too. Can Sage & Finn, along with merfolk, Traigh and Muir, save their dwindling numbers from extinction?
Lindsay Littleson delves right into the heart of loyalty between two friends determined to succeed and her writing draws you in as you join Sage and Finn on what can only be described as an epic journey. With a superb nod to climate change, carbon footprints and the pros and cons to industrial planning also on the agenda, this thought-provoking tale of humans and merfolk reveals how their co-existence can make the world a better place.