Monday, April 4, 2011

Book Review: Fourth Grade Fairy

Media Type: Book
Title: Fourth Grade Fairy
Author: Eileen Cook
Publisher: Aladdin
Pages: Paperback; 176
Release Date: April 19, 2011
Source: Galley Grab

Intended Reading Group:
Middle Grade

Content Screening:
Clean as a whistle.

HDB Rating:
5 Keys to My Heart

All Willow Doyle wants is to be normal, to fit in at her new school, and to have a best friend. But there’s no way Willow will ever be normal. There isn’t anything normal about her or the Doyle family.

Willow comes from a long line of fairy godmothers and she’s expected to be one too when the time comes. (At the moment she’s merely sprite status.) Maybe that would be cool if it were like the old days when the humans — known as humdrums — knew fairy godmothers existed and the fairies didn’t have to keep their fairy status secret. Now they’re stuck helping humans who don’t even believe in them. Rather than help normals, Willow would rather be human. She’s sick of being weird.

When she's given the chance to attend a humdrum elementary school for two weeks, this is Willow's chance to finally experience a normal life — but will she be able to fit in? And can she find her best friend there, even if her parents discourage making friends with humans?

These are the things Willow knows:

* Her older sister is a perfectly prissy pain in her hindquarters.
*A dog would be a perfect companion for her.
*Ten (or the big ONE-OH) is the most important birthday ever.
* Having a best best friend would be the greatest birthday present in the world!

Those are the thoughts jumbled around in Willow Doyle's head as we follow her through the story. If you're thinking that this sounds like an adorable story, you would be correct!

Young readers will find a lot to love in Fourth Grade Fairy. Although Willow faces the additional challenge of growing into some pretty big fairy god-mothering shoes, she still has the same issues as all girls this age. She explores the issue of friendship, namely how to find a real friend. She is also trying to figure out how she fits into her family. See Willow's older sister Lucinda is perfect and of course her parents adore her. Where does that leave a girl who seems to always be a step behind? Willow's inner monologue is simply fantastic. I could definitely believe that she was a nine (almost ten) year old just trying to find her way in life. Add in her silly sense of humor and you have one fantastic read!

The supporting characters in Willow's life are perfectly written as well, and fit in just where they need to. From her supportive grandmother, to the friends of the popular girl in school, they are all there in vivid color. Each character is so realistic that it's like stepping back into elementary school. So many memories came flooding back for me. Even the cast of animal characters is adorably believable. I'm not saying that I think animals can talk (or am I?) but I am saying that they are part of Willow's support group. An adorable part at that! Truth be told, they kind of steal the show.

I think young readers will have a simply delightful time reading this book, and older readers will see the deeper meaning in Willow's story. Colorful writing and a sweet story blend together to create one very enjoyable read for young and old readers alike! A great reminder of the lessons we all learn as children, Eileen Cook has written a gem in Fourth Grade Fairy! I cannot wait for the next installment and see what other kinds of trouble Willow can get herself into!

FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.


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