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The Fairy Realm #1

by Emily Rodda & illustrated by Raoul Vitale

Age Range: 7 - 9

Pub Date: March 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-06-009583-0
Publisher: HarperCollins

Writing for a younger audience, the Aussie author of the “Rowan of Rin” series sends a human child to rescue a fairy land about to be overrun by, as one hysterical elf puts it, “trolls and—ogres and—goblins—and dragons—and—giants—and—monsters—and—and—.” Searching for her failing grandmother’s prized charm bracelet, young Jessie stumbles into a realm that bears an astonishing resemblance to the paintings her grandpa used to create before his death. As it turns out, Jessie’s grandmother is not only a former resident, but heir to that country’s throne—and so the only one who can renew the spell that keeps the baddies at bay. Giving Jessie a talking pony and other allies, an invisibility cloak, a fast-approaching deadline, and an imposter claimant with nefarious intentions, Rodda tells a suspenseful, well-knit tale, enlivened by humor and heroism, climaxed by a clever ruse and some nick-of-time spell casting. Though restored to youth and beauty when brought back to her land, Jessica’s grandmother opts to go back with her granddaughter to the world of humans—but Jessica, now with a charm bracelet of her own, is definitely slated for future visits. The series has been running overseas for several years, and to judge from its opener, should have made the jump long ago. (final illustrations not seen) (Fiction. 7-9)