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CLOAKED by Alex Flinn

CLOAKED

By Alex Flinn

Age Range: 10 & up

Pub Date: Jan. 25th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-06-087422-3
Publisher: HarperTeen

A warmhearted, goofy and occasionally quite silly tale—tales, really— featuring 17-year-old Johnny, a poor but honest shoemaker in a luxury hotel on Miami's South Beach who dreams of designer glory and keeping the electricity on. Who should breeze into his hotel but Victoriana, princess of Aloria, complete with a French accent and a hint of magic. Her “bruzzer” is missing! He’s been turned into a frog! Johnny must help! What follows is a neatly nested series of fairy-tale mashups. Flinn cleverly uses quotes from the originals as chapter headings, from "The Shoemaker and the Elves" and "The Princess and the Frog" to "The Wild Swans" (which now live in that luxury hotel), "The Firebird" and others. Johnny’s best friend Meg has a little magic of her own, and readers will probably want to reach into the pages and smack Johnny silly as he steadfastly misses the signals she sends. The friends proceed through this appealing, magic- and mishap-laced adventure, and it all ends quite nicely, as told in Johnny’s clueless but endearing voice. The original tales are explicated briefly at the end. (Fractured fairy tales. 10 & up)