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*The Fairy Godmother Academy #1: Birdie's Book* by Jan Bozarth, illustrated by Andrea Burden - middle grades nonfiction book review
The Fairy Godmother Academy #1: Birdie's Book
by Jan Bozarth, illustrated by Andrea Burden
Grades 4-6 224 pages Random House August 2009 Paperback    

Birdie is excited and scared. She is off to visit her grandmother, who she doesn't remember at all. Her mother and grandmother have been estranged for years. Birdie doesn't know why; her mother refuses to discuss it. But her father thinks Birdie should know her family, so he has sent her to visit while her mother is traveling on business.

Birdie has one overriding interest: plants. She knows them all - their characteristics, how to grow them, their Latin names. Imagine her joy when she discovers her grandmother lives on a large piece of land with hundreds of varieties of plants, and a greenhouse. She makes her living selling various plants.

Her land has large gardens, with mazes and some of the largest trees Birdie has ever seen. While exploring, she discovers the tree that is the heart of the land - but also discovers that it is dying.

This discovery leads her grandmother to tell her of her family history. They are the guardians of the plants, but the plants are slowly dying. The trouble started when the Singing Stone was broken in half. That night, Birdie has a dream that takes her to another land, Aventurine.

She is confused about why she is there but meets friends along the way. There is Kerka, another girl who is there to help Birdie in her mission. The girls meet river maidens (known as mermaids elsewhere) and fairies. Each reveals another piece of Birdie's mission and how she can achieve it.

She must heal the land, and to do so, she must heal the Singing Stone and the heartland tree. Can Birdie heal the land, and her family at the same time?

Birdie's Book is the first book in Jan Bozarth's Fairy Grandmother Academy series. Elementary and middle-school girls will be entranced with this story. There is a related website with games, places to write dreams, meet friends, etc. At this point, four books have been written in the series.

This book is recommended for young readers, and for parents and grandparents looking for books for their daughters or granddaughters that are exciting and provide a good message about what we are sent to do in the world.
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