The Fairy Ring: Or Elsie and Frances Fool the World [NOOK Book]

Overview

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 ...
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The Fairy Ring: Or Elsie and Frances Fool the World

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Overview

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this enthralling true story as a fanciful narrative featuring the original Cottingley fairy photos and previously unpublished drawings and images from the family's archives.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.
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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Amanda MacGregor
Nearly one hundred years ago, cousins Frances, age nine, and Elsie, age fifteen, lived in Cottingley, England. Frances believed she saw fairies near their home, and Elsie, fed up with their families' mocking this, decided to provide proof. She crafted paper fairies, and the girls posed with them in pictures. Some years later, Frances and Elsie found their photographs the focus of national interest after Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, an ardent believer in fairies and the spirit world, reached out to the girls. Doyle published an article that included the girls' photographs of fairies, and the media tried to disprove their validity. Though Frances felt the ruse had gotten out of hand, the girls vowed to keep their secret. It was not until 1983 that Elsie revealed the truth to her family. It is hard to imagine two young girls so convincingly faking photographs and duping a country, but the author contends that it is precisely because they were young working-class children that no one thought them capable of such an elaborate trick. Though nonfiction, this well-paced book is presented in narrative form with imagined dialogue. The original Cottingley fairy photographs, some of Elsie's previously unpublished drawings, letters, and images from family archives round out the book. Source notes and a bibliography are appended. Despite the years that have passed since the sensation the pictures caused, and the truth coming out, the whimsical story of two young girls who were tired of being teased remains compelling. Reviewer: Amanda MacGregor
School Library Journal
Gr 4–8—Fairy Ring recounts the story of cousins Elsie Wright, 15, and Frances Griffiths, 9, who lived in Cottingley, Yorkshire, England, during World War I. The girls, using Elsie's dad's camera and painted paper cutouts, staged photographs of fairies that they claimed to see near the stream behind their house. The book does a lovely job of portraying the youngsters in a well-rounded way; Losure does not shy away from clearly stating that they lied, but also takes time to demonstrate their motivations behind creating (and sustaining) the hoax. The characters of Mr. Edward Gardner, a member of the Theosophical Society, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle provide an interesting glimpse into the mystical ideas that were de rigueur in the 1900s, and the role that intense desire for something to be true can have in swaying our beliefs. The inclusion of the actual photographs and correspondences between the two girls and the two men who wished to prove to the world that fairies exist add depth and reality to the story. This is well-written nonfiction that reads like a novel; former fans and secret believers of fairy stories will thoroughly enjoy this account of how two girls fooled the world.—Nicole Waskie-Laura, Chenango Forks Elementary, Binghamton, NY
Publishers Weekly
In 1920, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle published photographs in the widely read Strand magazine that he believed proved the existence of fairies. The pictures had been taken a few years earlier by two cousins, nine-year-old Frances Griffiths and 15-year-old Elsie Wright. Tired of adults teasing them about Frances seeing fairies, Elsie borrowed her father’s camera and produced photos showing the girls interacting with dainty winged creatures in the valley behind Elsie’s house. After experts declared the pictures genuine and Conan Doyle’s article appeared, it wasn’t long before events spiraled out of control and led to a myth that lasted more than 60 years. Losure’s first book for children details the events that led the girls to their fame and adds the personal recollections of those involved from their own later writings. Accompanied by the famous photos, the story is written in an accessible narrative style that includes the attitudes of the time and explains historical items like the use of hatpins and how cameras of the period worked. An intriguing glimpse into a photo-doctoring scandal well before the advent of Photoshop. Ages 10–up. (Mar.)¦
From the Publisher
From the bottle-green cover showing Elsie dreamily regarding a fairy to the book's creamy pages and art-nouveau lettering, "The Fairy Ring" is as delightful to hold as it is captivating to read.
—The Wall Street Journal

The yearning for the supernatural and the magical to be real seems timeless. In the early years of the twentieth century it was fairies that intrigued, especially those in a handful of photographs made by two girls in England...Losure has written an engaging account of the affair, focusing sympathetically on the two young photographers, Frances Griffiths and Elsie Wright... Losure provides a straightforward narrative that gives young readers a sense of the girls’ different personalities; the girls’ daily life in WWI Yorkshire; and the type of small events that may well have provoked them to stage the photographs.
—The Horn Book (starred review)

Losure’s elegant and charmingly formal prose makes palpable the girls’ loss of control as their fame spirals ever wider... The photos themselves are included and, like the astonishing true story, they are simultaneously silly and haunting.
—Booklist (starred review)

The book does a lovely job of portraying the youngsters in a well-rounded way; Losure does not shy away from clearly stating that they lied, but also takes time to demonstrate their motivations behind creating (and sustaining) the hoax... The inclusion of the actual photographs and correspondences between the two girls and the two men who wished to prove to the world that fairies exist add depth and reality to the story. This is well-written nonfiction that reads like a novel; former fans and secret believers of fairy stories will thoroughly enjoy this account of how two girls fooled the world.
—School Library Journal (starred review)

Kirkus Reviews
The remarkable, true story of a fairy hoax successfully perpetrated by two young girls in the early 1900s offers a fascinating examination of human nature. It began innocently enough; cousins Frances, 9, and Elsie, 15, took pictures of cutout paper fairies in order to get their families to stop teasing Frances, who claimed to have seen real ones in the woods behind their house. It escalated when Elsie's mother mentioned at a Theosophist meeting that her daughter had taken a picture of fairies, perhaps not anticipating the ensuing furor. Eventually, a number of otherwise intelligent adults came to believe these photos were real, most prominent among them Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. It's an incredible story, but this compelling account explains step-by-step how the situation escalated; as time went on, more people became personally and financially invested, and it was increasingly difficult for the girls to consider coming clean. The narrative is matter-of-fact and reserves judgment on the perpetrators as well as their credulous public. The fairy photos are reproduced, allowing readers to see exactly what people at the time saw. This addition to the pantheon of great hoaxes, such as The War of the Worlds Halloween broadcast, reveals a perpetual human fascination with the supernatural and a strong desire to believe in the unseen. (Nonfiction. 10-14)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763659653
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 3/27/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 439,691
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Lexile: 940L (what's this?)
  • File size: 7 MB

Meet the Author

Mary Losure has worked as a field botanist's assistant, family farmer, and staff reporter for Minnesota Public Radio. A longtime contributor to National Public Radio, she co-founded the independent production company Round Earth Media. The Fairy Ring is her first book for children. She lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2013

    Fairies oohhhhhhhhh!

    Havent read bok yet but heard its great and whats your name

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2013

    Wow

    This book is awsome

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 8, 2012

    The Fairy Ring The Fairy Ring is a great book. I would recommen

    The Fairy Ring
    The Fairy Ring is a great book. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes mythical creatures. Also if you believe in in mythical creatures. If you read this book you can image what is happening and imagine what the fairies look like. The main characters in the book, The Fairy Ring, were Frances and Elise. Frances has a big imagination and has long beautiful blond hair. Elise has a big imagination too and has long beautiful brown hair. The setting in The Fairy Ring was around 1914 when WW1 was happening and it took place mostly in Elise backyard where stood a tall flowing tree. The main conflict in The Fairy Ring was that Elise and Frances were taking pictures of cut out fairies. In the story the main events in the plot were:
    1. When Frances and Elise see fairies.
    2. Is when Frances and Elise take photos of cut out fairies.
    3. Frances and Elise tell their parents that some of the photos weren’t real.
    READ THE BOOK TO FIND OUT THE REST!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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