Escape to a fantasy world where mermaids and unicorns really do exist. Looking for a successful book with a ton of sequels? The Tail of Emily Windsnap is your book. Looking for a short read with a modern day vibe? Go for Aquamarine. Are graphic novels more your thing? There’s two on this list. Fish Girl and Phoebe and Her Unicorn. Or just start at the top and read them all.
The Tail of Emily Windsnap by Liz Kessler
Emily’s mother has kept her out of the water her whole life even though they live on a houseboat. When her PE class switches to swimming, she understands why. Her legs feel like they are fusing. Later that night she slips into the water and everything she knew about her life changes.
Aquamarine by Alice Hoffman
Best friends Claire and Hailey discover a mermaid in the country club pool after a storm. Aquamarine takes a liking to Raymond, one of the employees, so Claire and Hailey decide to set them up on a dinner date. The challenge for them is not allowing Raymond to discover she is a mermaid.
Maybe a Mermaid by Josephine Cameron
When Anthoni’s mom can’t pay the rent, they head off to a summer resort. They arrive to find the resort in disrepair, no other guests, and an eccentric old lady running the place. While her mom sells makeup to summer vacationers in town, Anthoni tries to convince a potential friend that the legendary mermaid actually exists.
Fish Girl by David Wiesner (Graphic Novel)
A cheesy beachside aquarium claims to have a Fish Girl. The owner of the aquarium pretends to be Neptune while a mermaid darts around in a tank without completely showing herself. The tourists usually leave, never fully believing, but one girl discovers the truth.
Whatever After: Sink or Swim by Sarah Mlynowski
Abby and her brother, Jonah, are lucky enough to have a magic mirror in their basement that happens to be a portal into fairytales. When they step through this time, they are transported into the Little Mermaid tale where they try to change the outcome so the mermaid won’t lose her voice or die when the prince marries someone else.
Real Mermaids Don’t Wear Toe Rings by Helene Boudreau
Jade falls asleep in the tub and when she wakes up, she has a mermaid tail. Unbeknowst to her, her deceased mother was a mermaid and she obviously inherited the gene. While she tries to hang onto her friendship and woo the cute guy, she stumbles upon the real story of what happened to her mother. There’s a subplot of girls experiencing puberty.
The Unicorn Quest by Kamilla Benko
Claire and Sophie have just moved into their deceased great aunt’s house and strangely there’s a ladder in the fireplace. After Sophie disappears, Claire climbs the ladder and enters a world in turmoil. If Claire can find Sophie and the unicorn harp she may help bring back the unicorns and restore peace.
Wonder Light by R. R. Russell
Twig is on her way to an isolated island with a home for troubled teens. She quickly adapts, but is leery of the strange howls at night and the ghost boy she has seen sneaking around. When she becomes the caregiver for a strange new foal, the ghost boy informs Twig that it’s actually a unicorn in danger.
Phoebe and Her Unicorn by Dana Simpson (Graphic Novel)
When Phoebe accidentally hits a unicorn as it stands captivated by its reflection, it promises to grant her any wish. Phoebe wishes for the unicorn to be her best friend. Instead of helping her become more popular, the unicorn only makes her appear weirder.