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*How to Ditch Your Fairy* by Justine Larbalestier- young adult book review  
How to Ditch Your Fairy
by Justine Larbalestier
Grades 7+ 320 pages Bloomsbury USA September 2008 Hardcover    

“There’s no place in the world like New Avalon.” So says Charlotte Adele Donna Seto Steele, AKA Charlie, the bright and charming star of How to Ditch Your Fairy. The first thing you’ll notice about New Avalon is that almost everyone there has a fairy. Some have Finding Loose Change Fairies, others have Charisma Fairies or Get Out of Trouble Fairies. Sounds like a terrific place to live, doesn’t it?

But what if you were stuck with a Parking Fairy? That’s 14-year-old Charlie’s fate. She’s too young to drive, so her fairy is useless to her - but lots of other people take advantage of Charlie and her fairy by dragging her along to places she doesn’t want to go, just so they’ll be assured of a conveniently located parking space. No wonder Charlie has devised a desperate and exhausting strategy to ditch her fairy!

She’s hoping to get a new fairy, of course, and with all the trouble in her life, she could certainly use a supernatural ally. Charlie’s collecting demerits like crazy at New Avalon Sports High and runs the risk of being kicked off the cricket team; a sweet but dim classmate has developed an obsessive attachment to Charlie’s fairy; and her relationship with Stefan, the “pulchritudinous” new boy in town, is derailed by another girl’s Boys Like You Fairy.

Unfortunately, no on really knows much about fairies, so Charlie can’t be sure her clever plan will work. When she receives an intriguing proposal from an unlikely but fairy-wise source, Charlie figures it could be her best-ever opportunity to get her life sorted out. It doesn’t take long for Charlie to realize that banishing fairies is far more complicated and dangerous than she’d imagined.

How to Ditch Your Fairy is a stay-up-all-night read, full of clever twists, mature humor, and thoroughly believable characters. New Avalon exists somewhere outside our space and time, yet it could be any town, anywhere. Author Justine Larbalestier has a gift for setting up and following through on comedic chaos and even manages to inject a painless lesson about ethnocentric arrogance. Fast-paced and captivating, the storyline here never misses a beat. I hope Larbalestier has a Many More Books in the Series Fairy!
Young adult book reviews for ages 12 and up - middle school and high school students

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