This irresistible tale about the descendants of fairies should have readers smiling from the first page to the last.

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Operation Tenley

From the The Fair City Files series

A new middle-grade fantasy series focuses on the Fair Ones, who watch over Earth children from afar.

In Hadley Beach, California, 13-year-old Tenley Tylwyth wants to appear on the TV show America’s Next Most Inspirational Teen. At Hadley Middle School, she hands out fliers so classmates will vote for her nomination. Suddenly, a Frisbee zooms toward her head. From his skateboard, Holden Wonderbolt yells, “Watch out!” He tries to intercept the Frisbee and crashes. The Frisbee somehow zips off in another direction. Meanwhile, far above the Earth in Fair City, Fair One Lara B3 uses his 3rdi-All viewing device to witness the calamity. Just as he acknowledges that his client, Holden, is a klutz, the Fair Force arrests him and orders him to City Hall. At the other end of Fair City, the same thing happens to Fair One Penn 1 as she watches over Tenley. Eventually, Pennie and Laraby face Lord and Lady Fairships, who accuse the two of using Renegade Weather—wind, of course—to interfere in the lives of Tenley and Holden. When Pennie admits that Tenley can manipulate winds, the Fairships threaten to erase the teen from existence so that Mother Nature can’t absorb her power and harm her further. In this madcap opening volume of her new series, Hummer (Girl Unmoored, 2013) invites readers of all ages into a world where the bureaucratic descendants of fairies watch teens from a drab asteroid belt, use propellers instead of wings (they fell off), and battle a cranky Mother Nature, who wants humans wiped out. With insightful characterization and superior comedic timing, Hummer sculpts a bright pink brick of silliness into a deeply heartfelt narrative. When Pennie lands on Earth to help the insufferable, vote-obsessed Tenley, she’s stuck with “no instructions, no tools, no pants.” As readers learn that Tenley’s single-mindedness stems from hoping to reconnect with her estranged dad, Pennie’s mission earns a grounded nobility. At one point, Pennie confesses: “I think she’s determined to get famous so her father will see her on TV.” A lovely ending should encourage fantasy fans to return to see the protagonists grow.

This irresistible tale about the descendants of fairies should have readers smiling from the first page to the last. 

Pub Date: Sept. 13, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-942664-99-4

Page Count: 280

Publisher: Month9Books

Review Posted Online: Oct. 31, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2016

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It’s slanted toward action-oriented readers, who will find that Briticisms meld with all the other wonders of magic school.

HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE

From the Harry Potter series , Vol. 1

In a rousing first novel, already an award-winner in England, Harry is just a baby when his magical parents are done in by Voldemort, a wizard so dastardly other wizards are scared to mention his name.

So Harry is brought up by his mean Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia Dursley, and picked on by his horrid cousin Dudley. He knows nothing about his magical birthright until ten years later, when he learns he’s to attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Hogwarts is a lot like English boarding school, except that instead of classes in math and grammar, the curriculum features courses in Transfiguration, Herbology, and Defense Against the Dark Arts. Harry becomes the star player of Quidditch, a sort of mid-air ball game. With the help of his new friends Ron and Hermione, Harry solves a mystery involving a sorcerer’s stone that ultimately takes him to the evil Voldemort. This hugely enjoyable fantasy is filled with imaginative details, from oddly flavored jelly beans to dragons’ eggs hatched on the hearth.

It’s slanted toward action-oriented readers, who will find that Briticisms meld with all the other wonders of magic school. (Fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 978-0-590-35340-3

Page Count: 309

Publisher: Levine/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1998

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Rich and strange (and kitted out with an eye-catching cover), but stronger in the set pieces than the internal logic.

THE SCHOOL FOR GOOD AND EVIL

From the School for Good and Evil series , Vol. 1

Chainani works an elaborate sea change akin to Gregory Maguire’s Wicked (1995), though he leaves the waters muddied.

Every four years, two children, one regarded as particularly nice and the other particularly nasty, are snatched from the village of Gavaldon by the shadowy School Master to attend the divided titular school. Those who survive to graduate become major or minor characters in fairy tales. When it happens to sweet, Disney princess–like Sophie and  her friend Agatha, plain of features, sour of disposition and low of self-esteem, they are both horrified to discover that they’ve been dropped not where they expect but at Evil and at Good respectively. Gradually—too gradually, as the author strings out hundreds of pages of Hogwarts-style pranks, classroom mishaps and competitions both academic and romantic—it becomes clear that the placement wasn’t a mistake at all. Growing into their true natures amid revelations and marked physical changes, the two spark escalating rivalry between the wings of the school. This leads up to a vicious climactic fight that sees Good and Evil repeatedly switching sides. At this point, readers are likely to feel suddenly left behind, as, thanks to summary deus ex machina resolutions, everything turns out swell(ish).

Rich and strange (and kitted out with an eye-catching cover), but stronger in the set pieces than the internal logic. (Fantasy. 11-13)

Pub Date: May 14, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-06-210489-2

Page Count: 496

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Feb. 13, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2013

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