BOORAEM, Ellen. Small Persons with Wings. 304p. CIP. Dial. Jan. 2011. Tr $16.99. ISBN 978-0-8037-3471-5. LC 2010008400.
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