Mini Book Review: The Fairy Ring by Mary Losure
The Fairy Ring: Or Elsie and Frances Fool the World by Mary Losure
Published March 27th 2012 by Candlewick
Length: 166 pages; plus notes
Genre: Fantasy, Children’s Books
Reading Level: Ages 10 & Up
ISBN 0763656704 (ISBN 13: 9780763656706)
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The enchanting true story of a girl who saw fairies, and another with a gift for art, who concocted a story to stay out of trouble and ended up fooling the world. Frances was nine when she first saw the fairies. They were tiny men, dressed all in green. Nobody but Frances saw them, so her cousin Elsie painted paper fairies and took photographs of them “dancing” around Frances to make the grown-ups stop teasing. The girls promised each other they would never, ever tell that the photos weren’t real. But how were Frances and Elsie supposed to know that their photographs would fall into the hands of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle? And who would have dreamed that the man who created the famous detective Sherlock Holmes believed ardently in fairies — and wanted very much to see one? Mary Losure presents this enthralling true story as a fanciful narrative featuring the original Cottingley fairy photos and previously unpublished drawings and images from the family’s archives. A delight for everyone with a fondness for fairies, and for anyone who has ever started something that spun out of control.
For a mini book, we have a mini review. I’m hesitant to call The Fairy Ring by Mary Losure a proper fiction book. The events in the book are true and a simple internet search will lead you to many sources. At the same time Losure fleshes out the events with a bit of background and more from the girls. There are direct quotes from letters and articles and the like. It’s a mish-mash of material. It’s a mini book. It’s a book waiting to grow up. The Fairy Ring could have been something more if the author had just taken the story farther but as it stands we’re kind of muddling in the middle with a half story. It’s a pleasant read and very cute but I had the feeling I was reading someone’s report rather than a proper fiction book. There was a story lurking somewhere in there but it wasn’t fully portrayed. That being said, The Fairy Ring by Mary Losure was amusing and enjoyable.