Friday, May 27, 2011

Fantastic Friday: Small Persons With Wings

Small Persons with Wings (they hate to be called fairies)
by Ellen Booraem
Dial Books for Young Readers, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-8037-3471-5
Grades 3-6
Reviewed from purchased copy.

Mellie had a small friend named Fidius when she was young.  He was a small person with wings (NOT a fairy). Unfortunately, Mellie bragged about him one day in kindergarten and the kids pressured her into bringing him to school.  When Fidius found out about this, he disappeared.  Soon, all the kids at school were calling Mellie, 'Fairy Fat.'  Mellie responded by turning away from all things imaginary and becoming an avid student of math, science, and artists.  She's relieved when she finds out her family is moving to take over her grandfather's old inn because she hopes it will give her a chance to start over.  Her relief is short-lived however, when she discovers the inn's basement has been taken over by small persons with wings and that her family has an obligation to them.  Soon, things go from bad to worse and Mellie wonders if she'll ever have a chance at real friendship.

I confess, I had a hard time really liking Mellie.  Her cynicism and prickliness are off-putting. At the same time, I wanted to know how things turned out for her.  These responses I've decided are exactly what the author had in mind.  Mellie isn't supposed to be really likable at the beginning because of the fences she's put around herself, at the same time, one can't help but feel compassion for Mellie as a result of the bullying.  The book definitely covers new ground as far as fairies are concerned and it adds to the interest of the book.  I didn't feel like I had read the book a zillion times before.  These are definitely not Disney fairies. A fun, book perfect for readers who are ready to move on from Disney or Rainbow fairies. I think boys could enjoy this as well as girls.

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