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Diary of a Fairy Godmother Hardcover – June 16, 2005

4.2 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 4-6 -With humor and ingenuity, Codell weaves an unusual, intriguing, and enjoyable story. Hunky Dory is the top student in her charm school, but her inner conflict about the purpose of witchcraft plagues her. She wonders if it must always be focused on evil. Hunky becomes interested in the work of fairy godmothers, a group looked down upon by ordinary witches, and, after much soul searching, she concludes that she wants to become one. Characters from well-known fairy tales weave in and out of the story. The protagonist's conflict with her mother escalates when she is thrown out of school for questioning the value of evil and of granting wishes. Her Aunt Malice is the voice of wisdom and helps guide her on her search for her own true mission. Double entendres add to the book's humor. Underlying the fantasy are subtleties about school cliques, the challenge of listening to one's own voice, and the need for girls to value intelligence and power rather than superficial attributes. There are references throughout the book to the wisdom found in Be the One with the Wand, the charm school's textbook; it offers valid advice to live by ("If you're between a rock and a hard place, stand still"). This is a fun read that will have particular appeal to fans of Eva Ibbotson's Not Just a Witch (Dutton, 2003).-Renee Steinberg, formerly at Fieldstone Middle School, Montvale, NJ
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Gr. 4-6. Codell, author of Sahara Special (2003) and Sing a Song of Tunafish (2004), offers a shrewd fantasy about a young witch's identity crisis. Adolescent Hunky Dory enjoys studying to be wicked alongside Acid Reflux, Sinus Infection, and other members of her coven. But is a life of toil and trouble really for her? Even though her elders dismiss fairy godmothers as "vapid underachievers," Hunky finds the prospect of granting wishes strangely compelling. She tests her skills in storybook forest, putting the fairy in numerous, familiar fairy tales (What did Wolf want with that frilly nightgown, anyway?) The events prompting Hunky's reconciliation with her disapproving mother seem a little confused, and not every reader will respond to Codell's tart, sophisticated humor. But many girls, particularly fans of Eva Ibbitson and Vivian Vande Velde, will find a sympathetic heroine in Hunky Dory, in whom mischief and sweetness coexist--just as they do in the concluding recipe for Hunky's favorite "booger cookies." Sly, stylish full- and half-page drawings contribute added appeal. Jennifer Mattson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Hardcover: 170 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion Books for Children; First Edition edition (June 6, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786809655
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786809653
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,178,456 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
DIARY OF A FAIRY GODMOTHER is told in first person by Hunky Dory, a young witch who attends Harbinger's Charm School for Young Witches. Hunky is at the head of her class in charm school. She can turn princes into dragons and make teacups and hats appear out of thin air. Her classmates are jealous of Hunky's ability to cast any spell without disaster. Her mother, a brewer of magic potions, thinks Hunky will grow up to be the most wicked witch wherever the four winds blow.

It isn't long before trouble begins. At first, her classmate, Frantic Search, notices Hunky undoing an evil charm. Then Hunky is invited to a baby christening at the castle. She watches fairy godmothers giving wonderful gifts to the newborn baby. After her Auntie casts a wicked spell on the new baby, Hunky uses her magic to undo the spell. When she does, she gets a warm, tingling sensation all over her body. She wonders if it would be possible to become a fairy godmother herself.

When Hunky's mother, Auntie, and Mrs. Harbinger learn that Hunky is considering changing careers, they try to discourage her. Despite their efforts, Hunky is more determined than ever to try granting wishes for a living. She sets up shop in the bottom of a wishing well and grants wishes to people who toss down coins. Eventually, Hunky decides that she wants to become a real fairy godmother, but it will take the help of a special girl named Cinderella to make it happen.

Esme Raji Codell, who has worked as a teacher, a children's librarian, and a bookseller, is the author of two previous books for children: SING A SONG OF TUNA FISH: Hard-to-Swallow Stories From Fifth Grade, and SAHARA SPECIAL, which was the winner of the IRA Children's Book Award.

DIARY OF A FAIRY GODMOTHER is a clever addition to her growing body of work. It is a story about empowerment and making things happen rather than just waiting and wishing for them to happen.
[...]
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Format: Hardcover
The cover alone should be enough to convince any preteen female to read it! Hunky Dory is close to graduating from witch school. Her proud mother proclaims she will be the "wickedest witch wherever the four winds blow." The problem is that Hunky isn't so into being bad. She drops out to practice "wishcraft" instead of witchcraft, to the dismay of her teacher. Hunky was the class star! Dropping out promptly gets Hunky kicked out of home, too. She sets up shop in a nearby forest, practicing as an amateur fairy godmother, doing good deeds in order to feel the warm satisfaction of a job well done fill her body. In her journey to turn good and become a legitimate fairy godmother, Hunky finds herself involved in various fairy tales like Rumpelstiltskin, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. This book has awesome illustrations that enliven the text, and it's fun from beginning to end. I would highly recommend it to a child of any age, especially ones that are a little goth, and to anyone who's interested in reading about witches and/or fairy tales.
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By J. Turner on January 24, 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I lost this CD when I borrowed it from the library and was glad to find it on-line. It came very quickly and I was glad to turn it in. It was in good condition and they accepted it as a replacement. Now, someday I will listen to it!
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Format: Audio CD
I don't agree with the Audiofile review _at all_ and that's why I'm putting my two cents in! My eight year old loves this book and she and I both loved the audio version. The narrator is quite versatile and gives a thoughtful, imaginative and entertaining read. The story does slow down at times, but the narrator keeps the intrigue and I found myself listening to the CD's on my own all the way to the end because I really wanted to know how the book turned out!

The book is an unusual and clever twist on the rogue's gallery of classic fairy tale characters. I look forward to reading more from Ms. Codell and hearing more from Ms. Lillis.
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Format: Paperback
I am a teacher and a voracious children's book reader. This was a great one. I'm a big fan of Esme Raji Codell because: 1. She is an educatior 2. Her stories are well written 3. I could use her books as mentor texts with my students.

I'm a sucker for fairy tale themed books because it does activate your background knowledge. Kids love to get the "inside joke" and this book allows for that because they remember the literature from when they were little.

I love the lesson - fight the stereotypes!
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A Kid's Review on August 21, 2005
Format: Hardcover
this book was entertaining.............. is good for a rainy day
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