Miri Attwater and All That Glitters

Miri Attwater and All That GlittersThe adventures of Miri Attwater continue in Miri Attwater and All That Glitters. It’s very much a sequel, picking up where Miri Attwater and the Ocean’s Secret left off (in fact, I kind of wished I’d taken the time to reread the first book) and I’ll assume you’re familiar with my previous review.

Miri continues to settle into life underwater. It’s getting a bit easier, but she’s still having trouble hiding that she grew up as a “legger.” When the coronation crown is stolen, Miri has a mystery to solve and politics—both adult and adolescent—to navigate. Luckily she has her true friends, Fisk and Giselle, to help her.

SPOILER ALERT: Things you might want to know before suggesting this to your kid


When Miri wonders if a little brother would get her out of being the heir, people look at her like she’s talking gibberish—it’s the oldest, whether boy or girl, of course. How else would you do it?

The queen makes an offhand comment about having to clean up after the messes men make, as usual.


Well, sort of, if you count “legger” (i.e., a person who can’t turn into a mermaid) as a race. At any rate, there are a lot of apt comparisons. Straight hair is seen as a sign of legger heritage and is looked down on—it’s embarrassing to have a legger as an ancestor.

The thief was trying to frame Rafe and keep the coronation from happening because the queen is sympathetic to leggers. He lost this fiancee when she fell in love with a legger, and he’s been bitter against all leggers ever since. He’s a bit of an anti-legger radical.


Miri befriends Giselle, a servant, although it makes Giselle nervous—she knows she shouldn’t be friendly with the people she serves, especially if it interferes with her work. As a servant, she’s nearly invisible. People tend not to notice her presence, and she can almost always find a viable excuse for being somewhere, even if it’s kind of off limits. Her ability to see and hear things others may have wanted to keep private is key to solving the mystery.

The Queen Mother is very aware that she’s not quite royalty—the king married a celebrity, well loved and vivacious, but not of royal blood. That helps explain her character and why she can be such a stickler for the proper ways to do things.


Miri really misses her adopted parents, and when she hears her adopted mom being blamed for things (why else would she have run off?), it’s really hard for her. She wishes her birth mother (the queen) would give her the time of day, but so far Miri’s parentage is still a secret to the merworld and the queen is busy with other things. She does finally get her attention—although sometimes in spectacular and embarrassing ways—but it can’t last. The queen has too much going on with the upcoming coronation and the politics she has to navigate. Miri gains some understanding of this and hopes that things will change in the future.

Fisk and his older sister are pretty typical siblings. They annoy each other occasionally, but for the most part they’re there for each other.

Rivalries and Politics

Rafe wants to be king and hopes to show that the queen, his cousin, is incompetent so that he can take her place. Miri overhears his schemes, but the proof she thinks she has turns out to be planted by the thief.

The political scheming of the court is mirrored in the scheming of the girls. When Miri gets a coveted dance solo in the hulikela performance, she finds out just how cruel her supposed friends can be, and learns who her true friends are.

Being True to Yourself

There are still so many things that Miri can’t share about herself, but she still tries to be herself. She feels awkward and clumsy when she’s trying to act like everyone else, but she’s graceful when she dances in her own way. Miri is still very torn between two worlds—she’s involved with this one whether she wants to be or not, but she still misses home. Slowly she’s acclimating, though. She realizes that if she gets her wish to leave after the coronation, there are a lot of things she’ll miss about the underwater world.


Miri is learning more about the underwater world, and through her explorations we learn more too. It never comes across as a nonfiction book masquerading as a novel, but there are enough interesting details that your child might want to learn more about nurse sharks or how fish get algae cleaned off them or whatever. In fact, the research can start on E.S. Ivy’s blog or the Miri Attwater site, which is aimed specifically at young readers!


If you enjoyed Miri Attwater and the Oceans’s Secret, which you need to read to understand this one, you’ll certainly enjoy this novel. The plot is tighter and more contained since we don’t need to be introduced to Miri and how her world has been turned topsy turvy. It picks up pretty much right where the previous book left off and tells another chapter of Miri’s life. Many of the larger plot threads aren’t tied off, setting up the next book.

Disclaimer: The author provided me with a copy of the book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Miri Attwater and All That Glitters by E.S. Ivy
Published in 2014 by Phyta Books for Young Readers
Second in a series
Read on my kindle


  1. […] quick update before we get into the rest of the post: reads4tweens.com just published a review of Miri Attwater and All that Glitters. So if you’ve been wondering what your child would encounter if they read the book, hop over […]

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