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Review: My Fair Godmother by Janette Rallison

My Fair Godmother by Janette Rallison is as marvelous as every other book she's ever written. Funny, cute, romantic and, best of all, clean.

A hilarious and heartfelt fractured fairy tale with a romantic twist.

Sixteen-year-old Savannah Delano isn't having a very good week. First, her boyfriend dumped her for her older sister. Then, when she idly wished she could find a true prince, she got Chrissy instead, a gum-chewing, cell phone-carrying, high heel-wearing fair godmother. And when Chrissy--only "fair" because she's not a very good fairy student--tried to grant Savannah three wishes, she mistakenly sent Savannah back in time to the Middle Ages.

Now, to get back to her own day, Savannah must survive being Cinderella and Snow White, and then must team up with Tristan, a boy in her class, to defeat a host of magical creatures. Part lighthearted fantasy, part romantic comedy, My Fair Godmother proves that finding your one true love can be a Grimm experience!

Due to be released on January 6, 2009, My Fair Godmother takes us on a journey into teenage angst, tinged with fantasy and an extremely common sense challenged, magically challenged fairy godmother in training. Toss in a teenager whose most important thought is how her hair looks, the quick trip into the middle ages and you've got nothin' but trouble, and humor, guaranteed to keep you turning page after page.

My Fair Godmother is a skillfully woven story about a modern girl tossed into the middle ages to be taught a few home truths and woefully inadequate fairy godmother whose more concerned with shopping and partying than taking care of her charge. Funny, enlightening and downright enjoyable, My Fair Godmother is a great way to start the New Year.

Reading level:
Young Adult
Hardcover:
320 pages
Publisher:
Walker Books for Young Readers (January 6, 2009)
Language:
English
ISBN-10:
0802797806
ISBN-13:
978-0802797803
Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
Amazon.com Sales Rank:
#576,089 in Books

My Fair Godmother will be a great addition for your teenage daughters to your home library. I'm picking up a few copies to mail or deliver to my nieces across the country. How wonderful it is to have a YA author who doesn't feel the need to throw in sex, filthy language and coarse characters into her stories and instead takes us a delightful journey through the lives of teenage girls using humor and skillful writing. She is a favorite in the Salima household. I'm giving it a SERIOUS two thumbs up. I laughed. I shook my head. I rolled my eyes . . . it's as if I jumped back into my teenage years, just for a couple of hours, and remembered how absorbing being a teenager can be!

I had the chance to have a chat with Janette, so here's a little Q&A to start your year off right:

So, Janette . . . really, the middle ages? What made you think of the middle ages as a way to help your main character get over concentrating on her looks and start looking inside herself?

I’ve always loved fairy tale princesses. I think most girls do. But the reality of the Middle Ages is so different from the fantasies we have built up about it. I figured it would be hard on a modern girl to live there even if the Middle Ages did have the handsome princes, dragons, and fairies we love so much.

You have such a delightfully wry sense of humor, which is evident in My Fair Godmother. Does it ever get you in trouble?

As a child—all the time. I get in less trouble now, but my editors always pull some of my quips out of my novels for fear of offending someone. In this novel I had to take out a line when Savannah was Snow White and she was thankful that her dress wasn’t like the Disney version, which looks like a megaphone is growing out of the dress’s collar. My editor didn’t want Disney to get mad at us, which actually was a very good call since right now the book is being shopped to Disney for movie rights. (I’m crossing my fingers and blowing out birthday candles that aren’t even mine.) So yeah, I’m glad that line is gone.

What do you and Savannah have in common?

I loved clothes shopping as a teen, but really I was more like Jane where school was concerned. I was way too worried about my grades. Getting a B on anything was crushing. That said, anyone who knows me knows that I’m not organized or punctual, so Savannah and I definitely have that in common.

Janette, you are one of my absolute favorite YA authors and I ALWAYS buy your books for my nieces. Can you tell me why you believe it is important to keep your books clean?

I think it’s important to write clean books because there are so few books about teens that are clean these days. It’s hard to find contemporary books that don’t have sex, drugs, and swearing in it.

As an author this frustrates me because I don’t think we’re giving kids representational reading. Not every teen is involved in this sort of behavior, and the fact that is so often portrayed as the norm, normalizes it. I fear that we are actually encouraging kids to have sex as teens which will have all sorts of negative consequences on our society. We’re already to the point where 80% of the sexually active population (teens included) have at least one STD. There are countries in Africa where 40% of the people have HIV. I’m afraid if we don’t teach our kids to be responsible, those could be our statistics too.

Any advice for your readers for the New Year?

With the economy the way it is, people are cutting back in lots of areas. Please don’t cut back in reading, or in supporting good books! Reading is vital—especially for kids—in so many ways. If you want your kids to do better in school, find them books that they’ll enjoy reading. (As opposed to the stuff that most of their teachers will make them read.) Your kids writing capability will automatically improve as will their vocabulary, and their reading comprehension.

Any last words to ring out 2008?

You can experience your life, or you can read and experience many lives!

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Happy New Year to one and all! It is my greatest hope that we may come together as a nation and defend her with everything in us. It is my desire that each of find peace and joy in the upcoming year. And it is my prayer that you look to those around you and realize the greatest gift God gave you is family and friends to uphold you through this life. Remember that Jesus Christ descended from on high that you might find eternal happiness. And that is what I truly wish for you in 2009.
Review: My Fair Godmother by Janette Rallison Review: My Fair Godmother by Janette Rallison Reviewed by Candace Salima on Thursday, January 01, 2009 Rating: 5