The Midnight Realm

Tiger Tales. (Mermaids Rock: Bk. 4). Mar. 2022. 160p. pap. $9.50. ISBN 9781664300026.
Gr 2-4–The five merfriends of Mermaids Rock, along with their animal sidekicks, find adventure in the perilous Midnight Zone while researching a school project. Increased lines per page and an abundance of characters make this series a bit more challenging than ones like the “Trillium Sisters.” Ortega’s abundant illustrations suggest racial and gender diversity among the five protagonists. Character development takes a back seat to a narrative packed with elements including STEM, teamwork, school frenemies, conservation, and ocean facts. The writing relies on exclamatory phrases (“clam-tastic”) and liberal use of exclamation points. Helpful front matter art depicts the five protagonists and their undersea animal familiars.
VERDICT Fourth in the series, this high-interest topic—mermaids—never wanes in popularity.

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