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A Titanic Friendship

Book #22 of Mermaid Tales
Illustrated by Tatevik Avakyan


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About The Book

Echo struggles to share her friends with a new student in this twenty-second Mermaid Tales adventure.

Echo has always been fascinated by human inventions, so she’s especially interested when her class studies the history of the Titanic and the bacteria discovered there, Halomonas titanicae. When Mrs. Karp announces that the class will be going on an ocean trip to the sunken vessel, Echo is thrilled to have a chance to see it, since the ship is decaying and won’t be around much longer.

The ocean trip isn’t the only big news at school—a new merstudent, Anita, will be joining the class! But Echo and Anita immediately don’t get along. Anita is rude to Echo the first time they meet, and all of Echo’s friends seem to like Anita better than her.

As the trip approaches, the merfriends learn that the Titanic site isn’t wheelchair accessible, meaning Anita won’t be able to join the class. Her friends decide to boycott the trip, but Echo has been looking forward to it for weeks. Is Echo willing to look past her jealousy and give up the trip? Or can she find way for everyone to be included in both the ocean trip and her friend group?


Chapter 1: Ship Eating

1 Ship Eating
WHAT IS A BACTERIUM that eats ships?” Mrs. Karp asked.

Rocky Ridge shook his head. “Little bitty bacteria can’t do that. Their stomachs would explode!”

Echo Reef had to agree with Rocky. Her third-grade class had just started studying them, but she was sure her teacher had said something about bacteria being really, really small. Since they’d started their lessons, Echo scrubbed carefully every night. She didn’t want to think about icky bacteria or their cousins, archaea, on her pretty pink tail.

Echo’s merfriend Kiki Coral raised her hand slowly. “Doesn’t it depend on whether the ship is wood or steel?”

“Why would that matter?” Pearl Swamp asked.

Mrs. Karp grinned. “Actually, it makes a big difference. Some bacteria like to eat wood, and some eat steel. In fact, over the next week we will be studying different types of bacteria and creating paintings of large clusters of them in art class.”

Painting sounded a lot better than doing a big report. Echo would have to learn about the different types. How many could there be?

“The bacteria H. titanicae is named after the steel ship it has been eating for about a hundred years,” Mrs. Karp told them. “Does anyone recognize that name?”

Echo’s hand shot in the air. “Are you telling me that something is eating the most famous ship ever? The Titanic?” Echo loved everything about humans, and that particular ship was legendary.

“It’s true.” Mrs. Karp nodded. “In fact, in twenty years it may be completely gone.”

“No wavy way!” Echo said in disbelief.

“Let’s get rid of that tica-tockie bacteria!” Rocky urged.

“It’s called H. titanicae,” Kiki said. “The H is for ‘Halomonas.’?”

“Isn’t there a way to stop the bacteria?” Echo’s good merfriend Shelly Siren asked.

Mrs. Karp shrugged. “I’m not sure we should. It’s the way of nature.”

Echo couldn’t believe it. She’d read about the fabulous human ship that had been like a floating palace. People had thought it couldn’t be sunk, but sadly it had—on its first voyage! How could the whole thing be disappearing?

“But luckily we’ll get to see it before it’s gone,” Mrs. Karp announced. “We will go on an ocean trip to visit it next week.”

Several kids gasped, but Echo couldn’t help squealing. Were they really going to visit the Titanic? It was a dream come true!

About The Author

Debbie Dadey

Debbie Dadey is an award-winning children’s book author who has written more than 150 books. She is best known for her series The Adventures of the Bailey School Kids, written with Marcia Thornton Jones. Debbie lives with her husband, her children, and three dogs in Sevierville, Tennessee.

About The Illustrator

Tatevik Avakyan has illustrated many books for children, including the Mermaid Tales series.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Aladdin (June 21, 2022)
  • Length: 96 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781534457355
  • Ages: 6 - 9

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