Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

How to ditch your fairy

How to ditch your fairy

Justine Larbalestier
For ages 12 and up
Bloomsbury USA Children's Books, 2008   ISBN: 978-1599903019

Charlie has a pretty good life. She lives in lovely New Avalon, she is going to a school that suits her perfectly, her parents are decent people, her little sister could be a lot worse, and she has met a terrific boy called Steff. One thing casts a pall over it all. Her personal fairy is making her life miserable. Unlike her friend Rochelle – who has a shopping fairy – Charlie's fairy is a parking fairy. The fairy makes it easy for Charlie to find a parking place whenever she is in a car. Since she doesn't have a license or a car, Charlie does not find her fairy at all useful. In fact it is a real pain because other people make use of her so that they can find a parking place.

In an effort to get rid of her pesky invisible companion, Charlie is walking everywhere these days. She refuses to even get on a bus. As a result she is late to class, is always tired, and is finding is hard to keep up with things. Then the demerits start. Being late and not having the right clothes for her various sports activities are punishable offences in Charlie's strict school, and she begins to accrue a lot of demerits. After getting eight in rapid succession Charlie is suspended from her next game. Her parents give her the choice to either start riding in vehicles again, or to do community service so that the rising tide of demerits is reduced. Poor Charlie starts community service, and in the process she discovers that someone else has an even worse fairy than she does. Surely someone can do something for people who are stuck with fairies that are a nuisance?

In this deliciously funny book readers get to meet a teenager whose life is greatly influence by a magical presence who is permanently attached to her. It is very amusing to see the situations that Charlie gets herself into as she desperately tries to rid herself of her fairy. With great skill the author gets inside the head of a teenager, making a fantastical situation seem as real as anything that could happy to us in our world.