Ragboy, Rats and the Surging Sea by Alan Temperley (1998)
How brave do you think you would be if you found a savage mermaid lying injured on the beach early one morning after a great storm? Rag boy Silas is both brave and caring. He first has to gain her confidence, while staying well clear of those claws, and then he hides her under cover in his handbarrow and takes her back to his shabby home. Although they are poor as poor, Silas and his ailing grandfather nurse the beautiful mermaid back to strength and health.
Unfortunately, there are some terrible villains living in Silas's town and when they hear a whisper of the amazing creature who has befriended the rag-and-bone boy they steal her away. They are bullying and cruel beyond even Silas's expectations and he determines to risk everything to try and free her from their clutches.
This is a fantastic rip-roaring adventure with the action galloping all round the town, down the sewers and out over the surging seas. The baddies are foul and evil and there are so many of them that you will wonder how on earth Silas could possibly match up to them. Silas is thin and frail but his heart is generous and his courage never fails him.
If you like magic, excitement and adventure I think you will really enjoy this book!
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