Title: How to Rid Your Swimming Pool of a Bloodthirsty Mermaid (Slug Pie Story #2) | Author: Mick Bogerman | Publication Date: July 21, 2014 | Publisher: Slug Pie Stories LLC (Independent) | Pages: 156 | Recommended Ages: 8 to 12 | Reviewed by: Renee, Danielle, and Dominic (Mother, Daughter, and Son)
Summary: 2015 National Indie Excellence Awards Pre-Teen Fiction Category Finalist
All Mick Bogerman wanted to do was teach his little brother how to swim in the coolest swimming pool in town. He didn’t ask to take care of a bunch of Sea-Monkeys while he was there. He certainly didn’t mean to morph one of them into a mermaid by feeding it genetically enhanced super food. No one is more surprised than Mick when the creature starts luring unsuspecting adults into the deep end of the pool. Adults who don’t resurface.
Join Mick as he battles a powerful adversary: a bloodthirsty mermaid who hypnotizes with a golden gaze, shatters glass with a piercing shriek, and reveals her true menacing self by the light of a full moon.
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1. What is the book about? This book is about two brothers, Mick and Finley, who use their friend PJ’s swimming pool in exchange for mowing the lawn and looking after some sea monkeys. They accidentally fed the sea monkeys the wrong food and turned one of the sea monkeys into a bloodthirsty mermaid who ate the rest of the sea monkeys and a bunch of people. The three friends then decide to bring “Marilyn” (the mermaid) to the ocean.
2. What do you think of the book cover? The book cover was really cool but it might give people nightmares; but, I liked it!
3. What are your favorite parts of the book? I thought it was funny when PJ named the bloodthirsty mermaid, “”Marilyn” and I liked it when Marilyn made a new friend in the ocean. It was funny when they were all jumping into the dumpster with Marilyn and Marilyn was eating a “brain”. I liked the part when Mick and Finley were running out of gas in the golf cart and they jumped out and tried to run; but Marilyn grabbed them and threw them over her shoulder and ran with them.
4. Are you interested in reading the other two Slug Pie Stories: “How to Destroy the New Girl’s Killer Robot Army” and “How to Navigate Zombie Cave and Defeat Pirate Pete“? Yes, definitely! They both sound great!
6. Overall, what did you think about the book and how many stars would you give it? I thought the book was really good because it was cool. I like reading about monsters. I want to give it infinity stars.
7. Who do you think would like this book? I think boys (especially) who are 7 and older will like this book.
1. What is the book about? This book is about a boy named Mick who wants to teach his brother Finley how to swim. But to do that they need a swimming pool. What pool would be better than the rich kid PJ’s swimming pool? While Mick is teaching Finley to swim, he must also mow the lawn and take care of sea monkeys. When Mick feeds the sea monkeys the wrong food, one of them turns into a bloodthirsty mermaid who can hypnotize you and will try to kill you.
2. What do you think of the book cover? I thought the book cover was kinda terrifying but super cool and definitely NOT how you would imagine a typical mermaid.
3. What are your favorite parts of the book? My favorite part of the book is when Finley takes Marilyn (which PJ named the mermaid) grocery shopping and then Mick comes and sees Marilyn eating cauliflower which he thinks is Finley’s brains.
4. Was there anything that you didn’t like or that didn’t make sense? I don’t think it made sense when Marilyn dragged the adults in the swimming pool and everyone who saw thought they had drowned. But if Marilyn turned them into the weird bubble things, I think someone would have noticed weird bubbles at the bottom of the pool.
5. What are Sea Monkeys and would you like to have some as pets? Sea monkeys are just a brand name for brine shrimp. It’s little tiny shrimp. I’d rather have soft furry things as pets.
6. Overall, what did you think about the book?I thought this book was really fun and creative. I really liked how Marilyn was not just your average fairytale mermaid. This book overall was really funny and exciting.
7. Who do you think would like this book?I think boys and girls 9-13 would like this book. Unless the girls don’t want the reputation of a mermaid ruined. >:)
My Thoughts: When Mick Bogerman agreed to mow the lawn of the school’s rich kid, PJ in exchange for access to his swimming pool so he could teach his younger brother Finley how to swim, he had no idea that he would be facing off against a mermaid who could not be any more different from the Disney version, Ariel. This Spam-loving mermaid, who morphs from a sea monkey into a ravenously hungry creature after eating a genetically modified substance by accident, has an icy stare that lures unsuspecting prey into doing her bidding (i.e., jumping into her pool where they mysteriously vanish).
It is up to Mick, his brother Finley, and the hapless PJ (who lovingly names his pet “Marilyn”) to keep the mermaid contained to prevent her from endangering the lives of those she comes into contact with. But when the full moon rises, the trio of friends discover that mermaids grow legs which means that Marilyn will be able to escape the pool and search for food nearby including the supermarket where Mick’s mother works! The children will have to enlist the help of the only person they know who has previously encountered a mermaid, Karl Wheetly, the same man who pulled Mick and Finley out of the water after their heroics in Zombie Cave.
Mick was such a great character and a true hero in this story. He comes across as a tough, no nonsense kid who seems to be growing up in the school of hard knocks. When he meets the rich snooty kid, PJ, who is too lazy to mow his own lawn, you can really see the difference in social status as well as the difference in life experience and street sense. Mick’s brother Finley rounds out the trio of main characters and he has a quiet wisdom and compassion that balances out the more hot-headed Mick. I loved the distinctions among the characters and how they played off of each other. I absolutely adored how Mick would look out and protect his little brother even at great peril to himself.
The author (i.e., the real Mick Bogerman) does a great job of immersing the reader in the characters’ reality by providing some of the quirkiest dialogue which so realistically captures the typical 12 year old boy conversations as well as inner dialogue. That being said, I do have to mention that there is mild language (e.g., dipwad, dork, jerkface) used in the book (which is probably milder than what most 12 year old boys use) and some violence (e.g., Mick punches PJ in the face). It should be noted that the author, Mick Bogerman, is actually a 12 year old boy therefore it is not surprising that he so accurately depicts the behavior and speech of tween boys!
I love this excerpt which demonstrates the personalities of each character:
“By the way, what’s your driver’s name?” I whisper to PJ. It’s be nice to know what to call the old guy.
“I don’t know.”
“What do you mean you don’t know? How can you not know?”
The clear night sky casts enough light into the car for me to see PJ’s face. He doesn’t even look guilty. Just shrugs his shoulders.
“Jerkface,” I whisper to him nose-to-nose. “Serves you right, you got bit.”
“Mick!” Finley says, but I wave him away.
“Hey, PJ’s driver. Thanks for the sweet ride for me and my brother. You got a name so I can thank you proper?”
His dark eyes materialize in the rearview mirror. “Eugene Lazar. You can call me Gene.”
“Thanks for the ride, Gene.”
I read the story aloud to my children (8 & 12) and it is filled with humorous moments that either had us laughing out loud or kept us in suspense. There were so many chapters that ended on a cliffhanger that it was always difficult to find a spot to stop reading. While on the surface, this book would appear to fall under the horror genre (and it does to some extent), the violence is still quite mild (i.e., there are no serious injuries nor deaths in the story). Overall, it was a very fun read and would be particularly so for reluctant readers.
My Bottom Line: How to Rid Your Swimming Pool of a Bloodthirsty Mermaid delves into the mind of 12 year old author Mick Bogerman who assumes the hero role in a rollicking adventure filled with thrills, suspense, and danger as well as a good dose of tween humor. This young author has woven a creative and heart-pounding tale featuring a trio of compelling characters, led by the author’s fictional self, placed in a ludicrous but thoroughly entertaining predicament when they accidentally create a “monster”. This will be a sure-fire hit with reluctant readers (boys in particular) who will easily identify with the characters in the book. Ages 8 to 12.
* This book was provided to me by the author free-of-charge in exchange for our honest reviews. All opinions expressed are our own. *
About the Author: Mick Bogerman
Author Mickey “Mick” Bogerman has lived in Beachwood, North Carolina all his life. Mostly he tries to stay out of trouble, but mostly trouble seems to find him anyway. He has a knack for antagonizing scary creatures and girls, not necessarily in that order.
Mick’s favorite subjects in school are science (slime, rockets, bugs, and rocks– what’s not to like?), gym class (running, climbing, throwing– more stuff to like), and reading (yay Mr. Corcoran lets him read whatever he likes– like comic books).
Speaking of comic books, Mick’s favorites are X-Men, Demon Knights, Spiderman and Batman.