Fiona wants to fix people's problems--but what if she's the one who needs help? Kelly Jones, author of Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer, delivers a funny, take-charge heroine kids will love.
Fiona may have problems, but she's no damsel in distress. She'd rather be the one wielding the wand in the story: she wants to be the fairy godperson. So when her mom sends her off to stay with relatives in a place called Cold Hope for the summer, Fiona decides it's time to start training for the role.
And wow, do these people need help! Aunt Becky's bakery is failing, Great-uncle Timothy draws but never speaks, and Great-Aunt Alta is the gloomiest, doomiest woman she's ever met.
But helping people in the real world isn't as easy as it sounds in fairy tales. Change is messy. What if she's actually making things worse?
Still, with practice (and some deep breaths), Fiona will discover that sometimes messy is okay. Sometimes things do get worse before they get better. And sometimes trying to help fix other people's problems can help you work on your own...
May 4, 2021
Lexile: 670L | Fountas/Pinnell: U
KELLY JONES has been a librarian and a bookseller and is a raiser of (much-loved but fairly ordinary) chickens. She is now a novelist and the author of Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer
; its sequel, Are You Ready to Hatch an Unusual Chicken?
; a ghost story called Sauerkraut
; and the feminist Regency romp Murder, Magic, and What We Wore
. You can find her at her website, curiosityjones.net, or on Twitter and Instagram at @curiosityjones.
KELLY MURPHY is a New York Times
bestselling author-illustrator and recipient of the E. B. White Read Aloud Award. She teaches illustration at the Rhode Island School of Design and lives in Providence, Rhode Island, with her husband and their many animal companions. You can find her at KelMurphy.com and on Twitter and Instagram at @yllekyhprum.
"Jones delivers a witty play on traditional fairy tales
with a healthy dose of emotional maturity. This on-point
fairy tale handles its subject matter sensitively as Fiona learns that helping people isn’t as easy as it seems." —Publishers Weekly,
"The boppy and lighthearted
tone keeps it from veering into overly sentimental. Gentle and expressive
black-and-white illustrations add emotion and texture to the novel.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Jones believably depicts Fiona as the child of an addict, with a blend of knowledge and naiveté that keeps her from seeming precocious or sentimental. The book’s lower-stakes conflicts—a baking competition, Great-uncle Tim’s hidden art—are treated with as much gravity as the bigger issues, making for an emotionally satisfying read
.” — The Horn Book
"Jones’s portrayal of a girl shouldering far too much responsibility is sympathetic, and it’s refreshing
to find a young heroine whose trusted social services network steers her in exactly the right direction." — Bulletin