A young girl searches for her True Blue Friend in this pitch-perfect middle-grade debut full of mystery, new friends, and maybe a mermaid.
Eleven-year-old Anthoni Gillis is not the kind of kid who believes in fairies, unicorns, or even the word “maybe.” She’s more of a comic-books girl. So when her mom brings her to Thunder Lake for a summer at the Showboat Resort, she doesn’t believe the local rumors about the Boulay Mermaid.
Anthoni has bigger fish to fry. She’s always wanted a True Blue Friend. But it’s been hard to find one, since for the past five years she’s been bouncing from town to town, helping her mother sell Beauty & the Bee cosmetic products to keep them both afloat. This summer will be different, though. Anthoni has a plan—a foolproof checklist for making lifelong friends! There won’t be any maybes this time.
But as she grows entangled in local gossip, and her mother stretches the truth, Anthoni must decide if she’ll “stick to the plan,” like always, or dive into a summer full of extraordinary possibilities.
Josephine Cameron’s energetic and heartfelt debut raises timeless questions about truth, lies, and the hope that grows between them.
About the Author
Josephine Cameron received her MFA in creative writing from the University of Notre Dame. She is the author Maybe a Mermaid and A Dog-Friendly Town. She lives in Maine, where she writes, sings, and teaches music to kids.
"This impressive debut ultimately settles in realism with a refreshingly mischievous wink. An offbeat, earnest novel for those who believe in magic, and those who wish they did." —Booklist
"[A] debut novel that captures both the hopes and disillusionments of growing up . . . readers dive not only into Anthoni's maturation, but into her resiliency." —Kirkus Reviews
"Anthoni is an engaging heroine whose fears, desires, curiosity, and agency offer much for young readers to relate to, even when, or perhaps especially when, those qualities lead to social mistakes." —Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books