How to Ditch Your Fairy by Justine Larbalestier
Monday, April 27, 2009
How to Ditch Your Fairy is more fun than popping bubble wrap but still offers brain food, making it a highly accessible book both in and out of the classroom.
In New Avalon, almost everyone has a personal fairy that gives a particular brand of luck – but 14-year-old Charlie’s perfect parking fairy is more harm than help; she’s not old enough to drive herself and she’s sick of people borrowing her when they need to find a good parking spot. The lengths she’ll go to in order to ditch her fairy and (hopefully) find a new one make for a hilarious novel.
Every character – from Charlie’s friend Rochelle, with an enviable clothes-shopping fairy, to Steffi, with an even more enviable never-getting-into-trouble fairy he’s convinced isn’t real – crackles with personality. Dialogue is fresh, fast and funny, and Charlie sparkles with dry humour – you can’t help but be drawn to this unlikely heroine. The usage of invented words gives the novel added individuality – HTDYF is a great read for girls in lower secondary years, with adventure, romance, friendship and sport adding to the appeal of this wonderful novel.
The concept of a world much like our own except with personal fairies (equalling added troubles) prompts reflection into our own lives. In the classroom, discussion topics may be based around what life would be like in a society like New Avalon (having a fairy, regimented life at the Sports High, their self-obsession) as well as looking into Charlie’s personal journey throughout the novel (from hating Fiorenze to experiencing life in her shoes, the questionable validity of things earned through fairy-magic).
Overall, HTDYF is a superb novel, further confirming Larbalestier as an exceptional author of young adult literature.
(I received a copy of HTDYF from Allen & Unwin. You can read my review on their website)
Labels: book reviews