Maria: Maria and the Pearl

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Dorrance Publishing
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The pearl is the queen of gems and the gem of queens. - Author Unknown
Maria was raised by her grandmother since she was orphaned at five years old. her mother's only memento is a large pendant
around her neck which Maria swore never to take off or sell. she is drawn to the sea and its mysterious depths. she can sing very well and is loved by all except by a few of her envious peers and the village's lead merchant. when she is pushed into the sea by Christine and her pretentious friends, Maria accidentally drags them along with her. in the underwater kingdom, Maria and the rest of the girls meet a prince, a fairy, mermaids and other sea creatures. when Maria learns the secret of her birth and parentage, she will have to fight for her life and freedom.
Maria: Maria and the Pearl, published by Dorrance Publishing, is a retelling of the Little Mermaid fairy tale. it is a short quick read and may be suitable for middle grade readers and up.
author Ghaliah's version is alright. it is simple to understand and follow though i find her format different. the story is laid out like a script and young readers would probably like how it is written but i did not see the need for the author to do so. the first time i came across cues like this "(The grandmother starts to sing.)", i was a little distracted. anyway, i got used to it after some time.
there were a couple of things that nagged at me though. first, the bad guys - or in this case girls - got away with what they did to Maria and nobody in the village seemed to care. the author never explained anything anymore. except for what befell the lead merchant who is also Christine's father, what happened to his daughter and to Christine's friends Diana and Rose was left unresolved. of course, there was the semblance of a happy ending but i would have wanted more vindication for our heroine. the second thing that bothered me was Maria and her prince. they are related by blood. this may not be a big thing in other cultures or countries where civil unions among first cousins are allowed but i personally find the thought incestuous - especially in fairy tales!
if the affinity were not mentioned, i could have ignored the unresolved issue i pointed out earlier.
*Maria: Maria and the Pearl is available in paperback and Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) formats at
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Disclosure of Material Connection: i received a complimentary copy of Maria: Maria and the Pearl as a member of the Dorrance Publishing Book Review Team. visit to learn how you can become a member of the Book Review Team. i did not receive any payment in exchange for this review nor was i obligated to write a positive one. all opinions expressed here are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, the book's publisher and publicist or the readers of this review. this disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

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