The best mermaid books 📚

Browse the best books on mermaids as recommended by authors, experts, and creators. Along with notes on why they recommend those books.

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Book cover of The Deep

The Deep

By Rivers Solomon, Daveed Diggs, William Hutson, Jonathan Snipes

Why this book?

Mermaid-like creatures called wajinru, descendants of pregnant Africans thrown overboard from slave ships, choose one girl as a "historian" to carry the terrible weight of their traumatic past. But the burden of the historian's role is too much for one autistic wajinru to handle. This Nebula award-winning book goes to dark places, but emerges with a sense of community, healing, and hope.

From the list:

The best science fiction books by autistic authors

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Book cover of Oona

Oona

By Kelly DiPucchio, Raissa Figueroa

Why this book?

It’s impossible not to fall head over heels in love with the little mermaid explorer Oona and her sea otter friend Otto. The adorable duo was created by illustrator Raissa Figueroa who has this amazing ability to make all her characters completely irresistible and her environments rich with atmospheric colors and magical details. I can’t wait to see what adventures Oona and Otto go on next!

From the list:

The best underwater picture books for your little sea monster

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Book cover of Emerge

Emerge

By Tobie Easton

Why this book?

This is another book about supernatural beings of the sea, but this time, it’s all about mermaids! Emerge is the first in a young adult trilogy that follows the modern-day descendants of The Little Mermaid. Author Tobie Easton has absolutely mastered the art of world-building and I would absolutely love to see her underwater kingdom brought to life one day. 

From the list:

The best supernatural books to read all year long

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Book cover of The Mermaid of Black Conch

The Mermaid of Black Conch

By Monique Roffey

Why this book?

An exotic location, a bit of magical realism (another favourite genre of mine), and a bittersweet love story of a very different kind. When the fisherman David rescues and falls in love with the centuries-old mermaid, Aycayia, she begins to return to her original, human form. But it seems their love is not enough to guarantee a regular style of happy ever after. I loved the exquisite writing, the heart-stopping moments of potential horror, and the lightening of what could have been a dark story by the injection of some farcical ‘baddies’. 

From the list:

The best novels about marriage, love, and figuring out what you really want

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Book cover of Monstrous Beauty

Monstrous Beauty

By Elizabeth Fama

Why this book?

This book was one of the rare gems that stayed with me long after I turned the final page. Monstrous Beauty is both haunting and vengeful while it weaves together two vastly different timelines. I loved experiencing the thoughts of a killer mermaid as she fell in love with a human. Then, being flung forward over a century, to experience the life of Hester, a modern-day teenager. These two women, so different, yet so similar, are bound to each other by fate. And finding out how was one of the most rewarding and unpredictable endings I’ve ever read. (Warning: there…

From the list:

The best YA books about monstrous creatures in present day

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Book cover of Julián Is a Mermaid

Julián Is a Mermaid

By Jessica Love

Why this book?

I adore the concept of this book and it’s so different from many other children’s books. I appreciate that the main character is proud to be different and doesn’t need to experience bullying in order to accept themselves. Julián’s grandmother accepts him straight away and the story is a beautiful example of family love. The book relies heavily on simple but beautiful illustrations, which showcase a great deal of diversity of skin colors, gender, hair colors, and body types. 

From the list:

The best children’s books about diversity and inclusion

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