Operation Tenley by Jennifer Gooch Hummer
Kirkus Star

Operation Tenley

From the "The Fair City Files" series
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KIRKUS REVIEW

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. 13th, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-942664-99-4
Page count: 280pp
Publisher: Month9Books
Program: Kirkus Indie
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 2016




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