Happy Weekend! Today, I am pleased to welcome author Hélène Boudreau to the blog. Hélène is the author of the fun middle grade series featuring mermaids called Real Mermaids. It features a plus sized teenage girl, who just happens to be a mermaid.
I recently read and reviewed the third book in the series: Real Mermaids Don't Need High Heels. See my review here. I was very pleased to find that the book featured a young lady who is not rail thin and learning to deal positively with her body image. There were many other great messages that I took away from this book, and I would highly recommend it for your middle grade/ tween reader. The protagonist is fourteen so it is also appropriate for the younger young adult crowd. I had the pleasure of interviewing Hélène today. Be sure to enter the giveaway for a copy at the end of the post.
Here is Hélène:
I was pleased to discover that Jade is a plus sized teen, a bit uncomfortable in her own skin, like anyone at that age. What advice do you have for young ladies who are worried about their body image?
My mantra in life is “Smile and the heart will follow.” so when you’re plagued with doubt, be it about your looks or anything else, your attitude toward how you approach life is what matters—not the size on the tag at the back of your clothes (which no one can see anyway!).
Under water hockey was all new to me. Can you tell me a bit more about this sport? Do you play it?
I don’t play underwater hockey but my sister has and I thought it would be the perfect sport for an aqua-phobic part-time mermaid like Jade. The rules of the game are similar to hockey in that there are two teams who battle for a puck and try to score in the other team’s net. Only difference is, Jade’s version is much wetter.
You can check out a short video of it here:
I liked that your book was full of positive messages for younger girls. What is one thing that you hope that girls will take away from your books?
My main goal when writing any book is to take my reader on an adventure so I mostly want readers to have fun and feel their reading time was time well spent. Each person reads a book through their own individual ‘life lens’ though, depending on their personalities and experiences so I really try not to make any assumptions about what readers take away from the experience.
I think the experience of reading any book is (and should be) different for different people.
I enjoyed that Jade learned that sometimes your perceptions of someone are incorrect, especially when it comes to someone you don't particularly get along with. What would you tell a young girl who is having trouble getting along with someone, how should she handle herself?
I have two daughters and there are plenty of times when they disagree. But that’s okay! It doesn’t mean they don’t like each other or have to be mortal enemies. It’s okay to have a difference of opinion. If everyone thought exactly alike, what a boring world this would be! So speak up for what you believe in, but be respectful of what others have to say and try to work things out if you can.
It’s also okay, however, to agree to disagree.
The book is called Real Mermaids Don’t Sell Sea Shells and it will be published in February 2014.
Finally, who are some of your favorite authors and books?
All time favorites of mine include Madeline L’Engle, Kate DiCamillo, Louis Sachar, Katherine Paterson and Tim Wynne-Jones. I’m really an equal opportunity reader and enjoy many different genres.
I’m reading JELLICOE ROAD by Melina Marcetta at the moment and am really enjoying it!
Thank you so much, Hélène for taking the time to share your thoughts with all of us.
Hélène Boudreau grew up on an island surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean but now writes fiction and non-fiction for kids from her land-locked home in Ontario, Canada.
She has never time-travelled or saved an endangered bird, nor has she ever spotted a mermaid in the wild, but she believes mermaids are just as plausible as sea horses, flying fish, or electric eels.
Her tween novel, Real Mermaids Don’t Wear Toe Rings is a 2011 Crystal Kite Member Choice Award Finalist. Visit Hélène on:
The good folks over at Sourcebooks Jabberwocky are allowing me to give away a paperback copy of Real Mermaids Don't Need High Heels. This giveaway is open to U.S./ Canada residents only. Please fill out the Rafflecopter to enter. Good Luck!a Rafflecopter giveaway