Thursday, February 24, 2011

Review: Small Persons with Wings

Small Persons with Wings
Ellen Booraem
2011; Dial Books (Penguin); ISBN 978-0-8037-3471-5 (hardcover)

Summary:  Mellie has a fairy named Fidius as a best friend.  When she tells the other kids in kindergarten about Fidius, though, he gets mad that he's going to end up in a jar again.  So Fidius leaves, and Mellie is teased for the next eight years.  She finds sanctuary in science, art history, and logic.  When her parents inherit a run-down inn, Mellie thinks this is a second chance to have friends.  Once they move, Mellie helps her parents start cleaning up and meets her next-door neighbor, a boy her age named Timmo.  But then Mellie and her parents discover that there are fairies in the inn.  And Mellie's family has an ancient connection with small persons with wings--they don't like being called "fairies".

An everyday heroine learns to appreciate the fantastic again in this touching novel.  Mellie is a smart, grounded girl who still can't help wishing that she was from Planet Skinny, too.  Yet Mellie's own personality is able to triumph over her appearance--even when she's transformed into a frog.  Whimsical touches like a fairy who prefers bourbon to nectar and a mannequin who appears to be a woman adds magic to the real world setting.  Middle-schoolers who enjoyed How to Ditch Your Fairy by Justine Larbalestier will also enjoy Small Persons with Wings.

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