A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that there are some scary incidents, including a girl falling from high in the air, girls being attacked by plants, and girls being chased by a large sea creature. Also, a child has a rocky relationship with a parent.
What's the story?
When Birdie's family moved from California to New York, she knew she would never get used to the concrete-covered world. When Birdie's workaholic mom goes overseas for business, her father allows her to visit the grandmother she's never met. What starts as a simple trip turns into the adventure of a lifetime, giving Birdie the opportunity and awesome responsibility of reconnecting her family and saving a dying world at the same time. Will she be able to do it?
Is it any good?
Author Jan Bozarth has written an adventure story with a lot going for it. The characters are strong, lovable, and come with all the vunerabilities real girls have. Instead of creating a fluffy novel that concentrates on pretty fairies and magical river maidens, Bozarth imagined a fantasy world twith depth and complexity, much like the real world where our heroes Birdie and Kerka live. There is danger, wonderful twists and turns, disappointments, triumphs, and heroic fights.
Audiences will love seeing young girls in a true adventure story where they aren't relagated to damsels in distress or side kicks. There are great lessons in friendship, loyalty, and the special bonds families share, and even some botany lessons sneaked in for good measure. It appears with the Fairy Godmothers series that Bozarth seeks to show that every girl has a special talent that makes her who she is and allows her to shine. In this novel, Birdie's green thumb is the focus, and surely readers will clamor to get the next book to find out where the other fairy godmothers' talents lie.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how to settle family disputes. Come up with some creative ideas: a talking stick, family meeting, etc., that will help your family resolve issues.
How can you be a good friend? Birdie and Kerka don't always get along, but true friends work through their problems. Can you point out examples of Birdie being a good friend? What about Kerka?
How do you overcome obstacles? Birdie had to push past many of her fears before she could try to reunite her family. What are some fears that are keeping you away from your goals? What steps can you take to overcome them?
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