Saturday, January 29, 2011
Ellen Booraem. SMALL PERSONS WITH WINGS
Mellie Turpin spends her early years with a fairy named Fidius. She enjoyed Fidius, especially when he turned her squash into candy corn and flicked his wrist to clean up her room. She thought her friends in Kindergarten would enjoy him too, but when she shared her idea to bring him to school, Fidius disappeared. The only thing she had to remember him by was a porcelain look-alike fairy. Unfortunately, Mellie had already promised to bring Fidius to school, so reneging caused a lot of name-calling from the kids at school. They dreamed up the nickname "Fairy Fat."
After hours with the school counselor and her parents convincing Mellie that there really is no such thing as fairies, Mellie finally went on with her life. She convinced herself that Fidius must have been in her imagination.
Years later, when Mellie's grandfather dies, they inherit his small inn and pub. The family decides to move there and fix it up. Mellie is glad to start over in a new town and lose the "Fairy Fat" moniker. However, when investigating the basement pub, she discovers something that she though she left in her crazy past for good. Small persons with wings (don't call them fairies). A bunch of them. They are real and her parents knew it! Not only are they real, but her family has a complicated relationship with them. Furthermore, they have some tough decisions to make about their future.
I loved this for so many reasons. First of all the characters are wonderful! The fairies (I'm just going to call them that here because it's quicker to type & easier to use in sentences than small persons with wings, although after typing all of this, I guess it would've been quicker to just..) anyway, the fairies have such great personalities. Durindana is a riot with her attitude coupled with her sweetness underneath. OMG, I love when she yells "Ai-yi-yi!" Maybe I can start using that on the kids at school. The fairies really are entertaining. They are obsessed with fine things, fancy clothing and high drama. Since they are about 1300 years old, their speech is part English, with Latin and French intermingled.
Melllie is witty and smart, yet still self conscious and afraid to make friends. It's believable that she would resist her neighbor Timmo's friendship. I love the way Mellie's mom tells her that she will "grow into her grandeur." That is one line I will always remember. It's beautiful. Mellie's parents, her grandfather and her friend Timmo are all original, interesting characters that you will adore. (That grandfather - what a sharp tongue. And so funny!)
The plot is unexpected, suspenseful and fast paced. Overall, this is clever and brilliantly executed. I was so sad it was over. I enjoyed spending time in Mellie's world.
Check out the author here - she must be so much fun, since she's written such an entertaining book!