Middle Grade Reviews

Review: The Girl With The Shark’s Teeth by Cerrie Burnell



The Wild deep is a real ocean. An sea within an sea. You dive deep to enter its gate at Vintertide, then swim to a place of waves and sky, icebergs and islands. It is home to many marvels, Minnow, stranger than you dare imagine. 

(The Girl With The Shark’s Teeth by Cerrie Burnell. P66.) BBD35E74-4B7A-46CA-8F8F-0E29FC08A586Synopsis:

Minnow has grown up listening to stories about an enchanted ocean called The Wild Deep. When two men appear on Minnow’s boat and take her mother away, Minnow must journey across the seas in time to save her mother. The only way she might get to the Caribbean in time is to cross the Wild Deep.

With her new friend Raife by her side, Minnow sets off to find out the truth about the fairy tales and her own magical abilities.


A magical underwater quest about a girl who belongs under the sea as equally as she belongs on land. If you love fantasy stories where characters discover their magical heritage, this one is for you. Minnow is a shark-tooth and her mother once played a special role in the Wild Deep. A role which led her to trouble.

I adore the setting – the magical ocean with its different gates and zones, and the boat which Minnow calls home.

Thumbs up for an antagonist who isn’t all bad – JahJah began as a boy who loved the ocean but he used that love to justify terrible actions. His brother Ely is even more complex – warning Minnow’s mum that Jah Jah is coming but doing nothing to prevent his actions. It is lovely to see a fantasy where the characters aren’t pure evil or pure good. They felt rounded and human and it made a believable world.

With growing awareness of the damage humans have caused to the oceans, this story couldn’t come at a better time. One of the themes explored is whether humans have a right to see the magic of the ocean. The story doesn’t condemn anyone for being enchanted by the corals and underwater treasures, but it shows how that love can quickly turn to greed. To a lack of awareness of our planet. This would be a lovely novel to start a discussion about our responsibility to the sea.

A strong adventure which hooked me from start to finish. This would be perfect for fans of Abi Elphinstone’s stories, or for anyone who has ever dreamt of finding magic beneath the waves.  


Thanks to Oxford University Press for my copy of The Girl With The Shark’s Teeth. Opinions my own.

6 thoughts on “Review: The Girl With The Shark’s Teeth by Cerrie Burnell

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