Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Night Fairy by Laura Amy Schlitz

Alison reviewed this one way on back in March. It must have stayed with her because it ended up on our Mock Newbery discussion list. I think I remember her saying that her eight year old self would have loved it, and that just about sums it up for me (although my 30ish year old self loves it plenty too).

None of the appeal, for me anyway, has to do with Flory being a fairy. Neither my childhood self nor my adult one ever cared for fairies. I was very much an adventure seeker in my books and this one delivers a heroine who is prickly and not all that nice, but who is resourceful and smart and willing to meet challenges more than head on.

Alison also mentioned an economy of language in this book and I think that is a really good way of summing up the writing. It is deceptively simple and is more powerful because of it. It also struck me as one that would be excellent to read aloud. It has a flow that comes from true craftsmanship. And that is really a point I want to make, this book wasn't just written it was crafted.

It will be very interesting discussing this and One Crazy Summer. Both so well written and so incredibly different from each other. Can't wait!

Book Source = Library Copy


joanna said...

It is so very good. I'm really pulling for this one! Have you read her others?

Patti said...

I haven't read anything else by her. Not even the Newbery one. You?

joanna said...

I listened to Good Masters, Sweet Ladies (the Newbery one) on CD in my car and thought it was just outstanding. I also listened to A Drowned Maiden's Hair and was equally impressed. Verse, Supernatural Historical Fiction Mystery and this early reader fantasy = a very talented novelist.

Madigan McGillicuddy said...

I also thought this one was beautifully written, and the kind of book that parents WANT to win a Newbery. It's not verging on teen, it's not too scary (well, there is that fight with the spider, but, you know what I mean)
And the illustrations! So gorgeous! It looks and feels like it could have been written 50 or 100 years ago... it's just timeless.
It's a contender, for sure!

DogEar said...

Madigan: I concur. There is a timelessness to all of Schlutz's books.

joanna: Where the Mountain Meets the Moon also has a timeless feel and while it came up with a Newbery honor, I hoped it would win the gold. I believe the committee is looking for a WOW factor that both these excellent books lack. I don't agree with this thinking but there it is.