Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Werlin, Nancy. 2010. EXTRAORDINARY. New York: Dial. ISBN 9780803733725 [Suggested Grade Levels 8-12]

When Phoebe Rothschild meets Mallory Tolliver in seventh grade, she little knows that she has been tapped to save the fairy world and the dying faerie queen. When the girls are juniors, Mallory introduces Phoebe to her older brother Ryland, also a fey, who has deadly plans for the unsuspecting Phoebe. Ryland plans to seduce the girl, but Phoebe despite being bound by magic is able to thwart his plans and save herself. The crux of the story, though, is the deep friendship between the two girls and Mallory’s reluctance to sacrifice the friend who has been so important in her life, the friend who has wealth and beauty and has always been loyal to Mallory with her unconventional family who has little money.

The numbered conversations between Mallory and the Faerie Queen move the plot along and give explanation to what is really going on, but the real story is that of the friendship between the two girls. Werlin has taken the common theme of fairies and made it into an “extraordinary” story. While there are some flaws in the writing, especially the ending, which drags on a little overlong, all in all, this is an unexpected pleasure in this genre.

This is a great book to booktalk and to use with teen reading groups. This is also a good book for those who are not necessarily lovers of fantasy.

Other novels incorporating fairy tale elements:
Black, Holly. TITHE: A MODERN FAERIE TALE. ISBN 9780689867040
Black, Jenna. GLIMMERGLASS. ISBN 9780312575939
Stiefvater, Maggie. LAMENT. ISBN 9780738713700
Werlin, Nancy. IMPOSSIBLE. ISBN 9780142414910

By Janet Hilbun

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