Tag Archives: fairies

Necklace of Raindrops

by Joan Aiken
Overall: 3 out of 5 stars

Category: Folk Tale

Personal Evaluation: Joan Aiken’s name caught my eye since I really enjoyed her Wolves series when I was younger, so I had to give this a shot. Also a librarian I really respect recommended it, but overall I thought it was just okay.

What might interest children: The stories are entertaining and good for kids who have long memorized the classic fairy tales as these ones are definitely original (even a little too off-the-wall for my taste) but you can still identify the elements of a classic fairy tale in them.

Philippa Fisher’s Fairy Godsister

by Liz Kessler
Overall: 4 out of 5 stars

Category: Of Interest to Girls

Personal Evaluation: I was worried that it would be too sparkly and girly for me, but aside from a few choice descriptions, it really wasn’t. It was more the story of a girl who gets three wishes and wants to change her dorky family and her popularity status, but along the way learns those oh-so-important lessons about friendship, bullying, popularity, dorkiness, and parental love. You might be able to guess what she does with that third wish, but it’s how she got there and what the fairy godsister had to do with it that got me. I’m not sure I’ll read any more, but I really liked Philippa and Daisy’s (the fairy godsister) relationship.

What might interest children: I could see this being a great book for those who have outgrown the Rainbow Magic books and want something with a little more meat to it, but don’t want to leave fairies behind forever.

Cinderella Ate My Daughter

by Peggy Orenstein
Overall: 4 out of 5 stars

But first, an anecdote: I mentioned the title to a friend and she asked what it was about. I said it was non-fiction and she looked startled. I hastened to add that it didn’t really happen… that Cinderella didn’t actually eat the author’s daughter… and we had a good laugh.

I had high hopes for this book. What I liked about it was that Orenstein’s struggles and questions were so real. She was trying so hard to figure out what the right thing was and do it, but it’s not easy. She waffles a lot and the book is incredibly inconclusive, down to the symbolism and meaning of the Disney Princesses (are they positive role models or not? I’m still unsure). Overall, though, she raises a lot of good questions and actually not answering them seems to prove her point about just how confusing it all is. Worth a read, in any case.

The Anybodies

by N.E. Bode
Overall: 4 out of 5 stars

Category: Fantasy/Sci Fi

Personal Evaluation: This is one of my favorite kind of books: spunky girl character who loves books and is involved in an adventure or challenge that she solves, and everything falls into place neatly in the end. I loved this book.

What might interest children: Kids who are widely read will love picking out the many references to other books and characters. Anyone who’s ever wished that they’d been switched at birth and just knows they’ve got the dullest parents alive will adore this and envy Fern. I also found the puzzle of it intriguing (and would have as a kid too). It ties up nicely but still with enough to carry over into a trilogy.

Double Review: Artemis Fowl and Jumping the Scratch


by Eoin Colfer
Overall: 4 out of 5 stars

I recently asked my friend, Children’s Librarian Extraordinaire, for suggestions on what to read next. She immediately pulled old Artemis off the shelf and handed it to me. “Oh yeah, this!” I said. “I’ve been meaning to read this.” The next thing she said made me doubt if I actually wanted to read it. She said that there is a fairy code at the bottom of the pages that you have to decipher, but that you can find the key online. Well, I finished the book without knowing the key, and have just finished reading the deciphered text, and I am here to say that I don’t think it made much of a difference. I can see Artemis Fowl being good for kids who were really into the Rainbow Magic books and who are a little older, maybe up for a little adventure and cynicism. My 4-year-old cousin Ben, whose family read-aloud choices are heavily influenced by his pink-loving 7-year-old sister, and who is also into Lord of the Rings and Dungeons and Dragons, will I think be a perfect candidate for Artemis Fowl in a few years.


by Sarah Weeks
Overall: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Children’s Librarian Extraordinaire also handed me Jumping the Scratch, which I’d never heard of. What a lot of things our hero has going on! Someone in my book club once said that kids who read a lot have more empathy than kids who don’t, because they are constantly in someone else’s shoes. I like to think this book will really help some kids understand the economic impact of suddenly being a single parent, or or suddenly having to deal with a crippling accident on the job (or otherwise). I did like that some things get wrapped up at the end, but not everything. I thought the author did a great job with the imagery and the themes – not too much importance hanging on them, and they don’t klonk you over the head, but they help give the story context and feeling. I also, of course, loved that she’s from Michigan, and the book takes place in Traverse City (with flashbacks to Battle Creek).

But I digress. I also loved the scenes where Jamie interacts with his class’s visiting author. Those kinds of scenes always sound really autobiographical, regardless of the feel of the character other than that, but this one seemed more real somehow.  The class dynamics with his mostly evil teacher were perfect too, and I love how Jamie turned her words back on her. Sweet, sweet justice is in the hands of this fifth grader.

Philippa Fisher’s Fairy Godsister

by Liz Kessler

Overall: 4 out of 5 stars

I mentioned Philippa before, when I first bought the book, and was happy to finally get to her.  I originally learned of Philippa Fisher from one of my favorite third graders last year.  I was worried that it would be too sparkly and girly for me, but aside from a few choice descriptions, it really wasn’t.  It was more the story of a girl who gets three wishes and wants to change her dorky family and her popularity status, but along the way learns those oh-so-important lessons about friendship, bullying, popularity, dorkiness, and parental love.  You might be able to guess what she does with that third wish, but it’s how she got there and what the fairy godsister had to do with it that got me.  There is a sequel, Philippa Fisher and the Dream-Maker’s Daughter, but I’m skeptical based on how they set up the fairy godsister system in the first book – namely, that they have one limited-time assignment with a client and then must move on.  I’m not sure I’ll read any more, but I really liked Philippa and Daisy’s (the fairy) relationship.  I could see this being a great book for those who have outgrown the Rainbow Magic books and want something with a little more meat to it, but don’t want to leave fairies behind forever.