Hidden Scales

Book One of the Merrows Series

Merrows are supposed to be extinct. No one has seen the water-breathing creatures in over a century.

That’s all eleven-year-old Mira has time to think as she stares at the silver scales that have spread over her foot before she accidentally triggers a curse that will change her world forever. She and her best friend, Peter, are forced to embark on a journey across the kingdom, escaping from ruthless spies who will stop at nothing to capture them before anyone else learns Mira’s secret.

With the help of a runaway scholar and a familiar young boy who reveals that he, too, has just discovered that he is a merrow, the children begin to train to beat the spies at their own game. Before they can truly find safety, Mira must learn to use the mysterious powers of her people, or else she and her friends may never be able to return home again.


“A feisty heroine and vivid worldbuilding make for an effective series opener.” Kirkus Reviews

“This suspenseful story is one that will keep readers entranced clear through to its satisfying ending which is perfectly set up for another exciting book in this series. With outstanding character development including a strong female protagonist, an intelligent sidekick, and caring and insightful adult role-models, this book has undercurrents which provide many meaningful messages for young readers. Recommended for home and school libraries, Hidden Scales has earned the Literary Classics Seal of Approval.”

―Literary Classics

“With a mixture of fantasy, fairy tale, magic, mythical creatures, and a whole lot of adventure, the story moves at a compelling pace, with twists and turns as the plot thickens. . . A great read!” 

―Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers’ Favorite

“A well-written and engaging saga for a middle-grade audience. . . Readers will enjoy reading about Mira, the eleven-year-old protagonist as she grapples with change, hardship and high-stake adventures.”

―The BookLife Prize Critic’s Report

A thrilling adventure story perfect for 9 – 12 year olds. A BRONZE MEDAL WINNER and highly recommended.

―The Wishing Shelf Book Awards

Primary Teacher, age 29

“This is a wonderful middle grade fantasy adventure. The children in my class (10 yr olds) very much enjoyed it. We read it over 6 weeks as a class reader. We liked how the author created such an amazing world for her characters to explore. We also liked Mira who, we felt, was a very inquisitive girl/merrow. Fab ending! The kids will want me to read them the rest.”

Boy, age 9

“This was a very good adventure/fantasy story. The quest they went on was very exciting. I felt gripped by this story until the very last page. I liked how they have powers they must try to control. The author is a very good writer. I understood the whole story and I am eager to read the next book in the set.”

Girl, age 11

“I liked that so much happened all of the time. This is a mega exciting story. Mira is such an amazing character. I will read the next book.”

Boy, age 11

“Tons of twists I didn’t see coming.”


2019 Literary Classics International Book Awards for Best First Book and Gold Medal for Best Middle Grade Fantasy

2019 Royal Dragonfly Book Award for First Place in Middle Grade Fiction

B.R.A.G. Medallion Award by indieBRAG

2019 Wishing Shelf Book Award Bronze Medal Winner

2020 Eric Hoffer Book Award Finalist

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