Sea Switch by Linda Joy Singleton © 2005

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    Sea Switch  (Book Three in the “Strange Encounters” series)  by  Linda Joy Singleton  © 2005  Llewellyn  ISBN  0-7387-0712-0   254 pages        paperback  $4.99 (U.S.)  $6.50  (Canada)  Novel for ages 8 to 12


    Cassie Strange really gets involved in this story – to the extent of finding herself in the body of an undersea inhabitant.  And it all started out so well   The Strange family was going on a family vacation to the Oregon coast and Cassie’s best friend, Rosalie, was coming along as well.  Of course, it was a working vacation – Cassie’s dad was looking to get some footage for his cable TV show and her mom was taking part in a beach clean-up, but it was still a vacation.


    Rosalie agrees to help out with a volleyball tournament (being the jock she is, she just can’t pass up the opportunity) and, in doing so, hurts Cassie’s feelings.  Feeling betrayed and abandoned Cassie goes for a walk along the coastline when she meets a mermaid (excuse me, Galena prefers mer-person, she is no one’s maid).  Cassie pours out her hurt and anger and is heartened by Galena’s offer of friendship, only to be betrayed once again when she is snared by an evil magic spell.  Suddenly she is in the water with a fish’s tail and no idea how to survive in this watery world – and that is the high point of her day.


    She is “rescued” by a young male of the mer-people, only to find out that the body she inhabits has been responsible for a great deal of destruction and mischief among her own people.  She finds herself in jail, with a choice of serving jail time or probation (working one hour for each person she has hurt, offended, or done wrong.  Choosing probation makes some of the people begin to believe her when she protests that she is not Galena, even if it is Galena’s body.


    As with the previous two books, being aimed at the younger readers, there are no real surprises, and the solutions come too easily to be believable for older readers, but it is good book for passing a rainy afternoon, or while settling down for the night.


    I’ve said before that I really think the pre-teen readers will enjoy this series.  It doesn’t teach any great lessons; it isn’t Pagan or Wiccan oriented, but the emphasis on strange and unusual happenings will encourage children to use their imagination.  And that is something which I feel needs to be encouraged in today’s world.


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