Review Detail

Kids Fiction 1871
Don't Call Them Fairies!
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
0.0
Thirteen-year-old Mellie likes to think about things logically. She likes information to be ordered, precise and factual. She does not like imaginative leaps of fancy, and she really does not like fairies. Which are not real. Not even Fidius, the fairy who lived with her for several years when she was much younger and who vanished before she could prove to her classmates that he was real (which he wasnt, no sirree). Since then, her devotion to science, mathematics and the ephemera of art history has not won her any friends and nor has it stopped anyone calling her Fairy Fat.

Then her parents inherit an inn from her grumpy, alcoholic grandfather and they move to a new town, something Mellie greets as a welcome chance to start over. Unfortunately, the inn is infested not with mice, or rather, not only with mice, but with tiny creatures (just like Fidius!) called Parvi Pennati, a name which translates from the Latin as Small Persons with Wings. The Parvi Pennati turn out to be a sort of family legacy dating back to the days of Charlemagne. Now the Small Persons with Wings are in serious trouble and are seeking to reclaim an ancient magical artifact with the power to save them. To do so, they need Mellie's help, but if she agrees, she risks everyone in this new town finding out about her ignominious past. Is she forever fated to be Fairy Fat, no matter where she goes?

I adore fairies in all their many forms and the marvelously inventive take on them in Small Persons With Wings is no exception. Ellen Booraem reinvents the tiny creatures almost completely. These are no soppy flower fairies, but rather small, proud aristocrats, obsessed with the appearance of things and cold as ice to the touch. All their magic is devoted to making things appear beautiful, and over time, they have lost the ability to make or do anything real, a telling counterpoint to an adolescent girls concern about her looks and how much they matter or dont.

A book that is ultimately about acceptance, both of others and of yourself, Small Persons With Wings has already earned starred reviews from Kirkus, School Library Journal and Publishers Weekly. An engaging story with a full cast of quirky, enjoyable characters, this will be a welcome read for any reader who loves fairies or who loves to see the quiet girl triumph over all.
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