Title: Fourth Grade Fairy
Author: Eileen Cook
May Contain Spoilers
All Willow Doyle wants is to be normal, to fit in at her new school, and to have a best friend. But there’s no way Willow will ever be normal. There isn’t anything normal about her or the Doyle family.
Willow comes from a long line of fairy godmothers and she’s expected to be one too when the time comes. (At the moment she’s merely sprite status.) Maybe that would be cool if it were like the old days when the humans — known as humdrums — knew fairy godmothers existed and the fairies didn’t have to keep their fairy status secret. Now they’re stuck helping humans who don’t even believe in them. Rather than help normals, Willow would rather be human. She’s sick of being weird.
When she’s given the chance to attend a humdrum elementary school for two weeks, this is Willow’s chance to finally experience a normal life — but will she be able to fit in? And can she find her best friend there, even if her parents discourage making friends with humans?
When I saw Eileen Cook’s new MG series, I was eager to give it a read. I enjoyed Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood, and wanted to read another of her titles. Fourth Grade Fairy kicks off with a fun introductory volume that is sure to please younger readers with a blend of humor, angst, and suspense. Plus, it has talking animals, and that always goes a long way in for me.
Willow is a fairy godmother in training. She doesn’t fit in at school, and being the youngest kid in the house is a drag. Her older sister is practically perfect, and she excels at fairy school. Her magic has manifested right on schedule, and she never stops letting Willow know how perfect she is. Willow is lonely and longs for a BFF (and a dog!), but she wants to have a human friend. She is fascinated by all things human, and when her grandmother arranges for her to attend a human school for two weeks, she is over the moon. She will have an opportunity to learn more about them, and maybe find a best friend, too!
Poor Willow! She wants to fit in so badly, but she just doesn’t. She wants to learn more about the Humdrums (humans) but nobody understands her interest in them. Her sister thinks it’s a waste of time that Willow could be using to work on her fairy skills. Her parents are all for her learning more about Humdrums, but they think that making friends with humans is a bad idea. To make matters worse, Willow’s first day at Humdrum school is a nightmare! How is she ever going to fit in after that debacle!
I enjoyed Fourth Grade Fairy because Willow is such a likable character. She has normal kid fears and problems, like how she’s going to make friends and how she’s going to deal with her bossy sister. She decides to be BFF with the most popular girl in school, and all she manages to do make one bad impression after another. She just can’t catch a break! When she starts hearing voices in her head, things get really messy! Willow’s social missteps are entertaining, and I felt so badly for her each time she stumbled on her path to finding a friend. It’s easy to understand how she would be dazzled by the cool kids, but there were times when she irritated me because she couldn’t see beyond them. They weren’t even very nice, but she was determined to be Miranda’s BFF, even though Miranda already had a slew of admirers.
Fourth Grade Fairy is a light, humorous read with fun characters and entertaining situations, as well as an interesting world where fairy godmothers and magic cause a lot of complications for one young girl. Oh, and did I mention the talking animals?
Review material provided by publisher