ONLY FIONA by Beverly Keller
Kirkus Star


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Fiona, at 11, is an original--not so scintillatingly intelligent as Anastasia nor so comically ingenuous as Ramona, but a real, three-dimensional person whose single-minded, heartfelt determination to be tender to the needs of all animals, however small, leads her into both funny mishaps and some satisfactory friendships in her new town. Rueful but undaunted to find that she's not always included in neighborhood events after a summer move, Fiona marches to her own drummer--except during a shopping expedition for school clothes, when she accepts only the saddle oxfords her mother advocates after she spies a mouse in the box; her ensuing effort to keep the mouse a secret till she can free it in a suitable environment is hilarious, her doting but hard-pressed parents mystified by behavior that is unusually difficult, even for Fiona. Her campaign to get a large fish out of a small tank at her dentist's office leads to results only after she stirs up the tiniest patients' concern, to the consternation of the oblivious adults. By the New Year--thanks to Fiona's idiosyncratic interaction with various neighbors as she defends the rights of ants, bugs, and even hamsters to be free--she and her parents are accepted members of the local community. Keller's sharply portrayed characters are right on target; her situations should keep kids chuckling.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1988
Page count: 185pp
Publisher: Harper & Row