Reviews for Small Persons With Wings

Booklist Reviews 2011 January #1
As a child, Mellie's best friend, a Small Person with Wings (not a fairy) named Fidius, became furious with her and disappeared the day she suggested taking him to school. Mellie's allegiance to Fidius made her the butt of jokes, so she became determined to focus on reality: facts, history, science. But when the family moves into her grandfather's dilapidated inn, it is so overrun with Small Persons (or Parvi) that their existence is undeniable. Parvi are a curious bunch, enamored with their glitz and glamour and whiskey, but mostly good-hearted. They plead with the family to return a powerful stone that will allow them to regain the true magic they lost centuries ago--but a Parvi faction prefers their Magica Artificia and uses it to play devious tricks. Together with her parents and Timmo, the nosy neighbor kid, Mellie's odd predicament is to return to the world of the fanciful by facing what is real. This clever tale also wraps a story of acceptance, both of self and family, in the fairy dressing. Copyright 2011 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2011 Fall
Thirteen-year-old narrator Mellie Turpin's family has for centuries been pledged to protect the Parvi Pennati ("small persons with wings") in exchange for a magic moonstone ring. Now the Parvi need the ring back--but the Turpins don't know where it is. Mellie has a wry, snarky voice that will draw readers in and keep them invested in the escalating events. Copyright 2011 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2011 #2
Booraem here shifts from dystopian (The Unnameables, rev. 1/09) to more lighthearted fantasy, reminiscent of Diana Wynne Jones in the inventiveness of the author's imagination and her ability to sustain an increasingly wilder succession of events. When thirteen-year-old narrator Mellie Turpin and her artist parents inherit her grandfather's dilapidated pub/inn, they discover that it's crawling with Parvi Pennati, or small persons with wings. It turns out that Mellie's family have for centuries been pledged to protect the Parvi in exchange for a magic moonstone ring that enabled its owner to see the truth. But now the Parvi need the moonstone back in order to restore their ebbing powers and ensure their survival. One problem: the Turpins don't know where it is. Social outcast Mellie (overweight and hyper-intelligent) has a wry, snarky voice that will draw readers in and keep them invested in the frenetically escalating events. These include but are not limited to the urgent search for the missing ring; a mysterious, glamorous blonde who wants the ring for herself and who turns Mellie into a human-sized frog; the policeman next door who suspects foul play in Grand-pre's death; and the building inspector who must at all costs not catch sight of the Parvi. Readers will pull for Mellie to prevail -- not only in her efforts to help the Parvi but also in her maturing relationships with herself (as she "grows into her grandeur"), her family, her new friend Timmo, and her peers. martha v. parravano Copyright 2011 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2010 December #2

Whatever you do, don't call them fairies. They are Small Persons with Wings, and Mellie's family has the dubious distinction of an ancestral legacy (or curse) of obligation to the Small Persons. As long as the Turpin family holds the Gemmaluna, a magical moonstone that uncovers deception, they must provide a home to the Small Persons. What this means for Mellie is that when she and her parents move from Boston to her deceased grandfather's dumpy inn in a coastal village, they inherit an infestation of artifice-loving Small Persons—and that tribe is rife with discord. Take cranky, squabbling Small Persons, bohemian, sweetly ineffectual parents, a nosy neighbor who happens to be the chief of police and his scrawny, likable son, and Mellie's got her hands full. Booraem's debut, The Unnameables (2008), presented readers with an utterly original American fantasy, and this follow-up, though unrelated except in its examination of creativity, is equally fresh and distinctive. Frequently hysterical dialogue, a hugely sympathetic protagonist and a baroque concatenation of magics and counter-magics will keep readers glued to this smart, earthy and thoughtful tale. (Fantasy. 10-14) 

Copyright Kirkus 2010 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2010 November #5

In a fairy story that's wistful, humorous, and clever, Booraem (The Unnameables) suggests that the real world--with its disappointments and failings--is still better than living with illusions. When five-year-old Mellie Turpin tells her kindergarten classmates that there's a fairy living in her bedroom, it leads the Parvi Pennati--a Small Person with Wings---to move out in anger, as well as years of torment and bullying for Mellie. After her estranged grandfather dies and her family inherits an inn and moves, Mellie, now 13, hopes her life will turn around. Unfortunately, the inn is infested with Parvi, and Mellie's parents tell her the family has a thousand-year-old pact to provide a home for the creatures. Before long, Mellie is turned into a frog, a walking mannequin tries to take over the world, and a potential friend learns all about Mellie's previous humiliations. There are serious threads about bullying and alcoholism, and several flawed characters; as in life, many problems are never fully solved, just exchanged for new ones. The theme of making progress, rather than ignoring problems, is a strong one, gently presented. Ages 10-up. (Jan.)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2011 January

Gr 5-7--When 13-year-old Mellie Turpin was very young, her best friend was a three-inch-tall Small Person with Wings (or Parvi Pennati--but never call them fairies!) named Fidius. She hasn't seen Fidius since she was in kindergarten, but when her grandfather dies and leaves the family his Parvi-infested inn, she discovers that she's the latest in a long line of Turpins who provides sanctuary for the creatures in return for getting to keep a magical moonstone. They are having problems with their magic, so they want to release the Turpins from their contract and get the moonstone back but no one knows where it is. Mellie, matter-of-fact and slightly bad-tempered, narrates this hilarious tale of these enchanting, annoying little beings who sprinkle their speech with Latin and French phrases and are obsessed with appearances and enamored with high drama and style. Every character, human or Parvi, is drawn with singular care and humor, from the disgracefully clumsy Inepta to Mellie's patient, maybe-new-friend Timmo. Spells turn people into drooling frogs and irascible bonging clocks, the truth-seeing magic of the moonstone turns out to be something of a liability, and Mellie "grows into her grandeur" just in time to save the Parvi as well as her entire family. Readers will share the girl's irritated fondness for the ridiculous and lovable Parvi. A great choice for all who favor funny and intelligent fantasies with quirky characters and an unpredictable, fast-moving plot.--Eva Mitnick, Los Angeles Public Library

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