This week's review is of The Pirate Bride by father-and-daughter authors Ryan and Anna McKinley. This was one of the books I picked up at the Oklahoma Steampunk Expo.
This short novel features 13-year-old Rachel. She gets a brief respite from her wild younger brothers while on a vacation in the Caribbean by taking surfing lessons. Towards the end of the day she gets to surf by herself. A mysterious school of fish swim by, and strange wave comes up.
Rachel finds herself in the middle of the ocean. She's picked up by a pirate ship. The crew isn't sure if she's a mermaid (a "pirate bride") come to save them, or a witch who will keep them forever lost. Rachel has to get on the pirates' good side and figure out how to escape her odd predicament.
The Pirate Bride is aimed at middle-school and early teen readers, yet I found it fairly enjoyable. Rachel is a character who is sympathetic but not at all perfect. You see her learn and grow as the story zips along. The book also has some good illustrations. Parents could buy this for their children, and still have a good read themselves. I'm giving 4 out of 5 stars at Goodreads.