When a fairy godmother in training takes up residence in Morgan's dollhouse, she creates chaos in the motherless seventh-grader's life. Attitude-laden Gretta, in her first year at the Fairy Godmother Training Academy, is supposed to be observing human life and helping Morgan only by sharing her "fairy wisdom," but when Morgan tells her about her crush on Ben and her wish to go with him to the Mid-Semester Dance, the fledgling fairy flouts the rules and starts casting love spells. One makes Morgan sneeze around Ben; another turns her blue. Meacham (Quiet! You're Invisible) injects plenty of silliness into her short novel, and readers will get a kick out of Gretta, who talks constantly to her best friend on her mini cell phone and gets so bored in Morgan's science class that she literally whips up a storm inside the room. A small subplot about a rebellious robot made by Morgan's best friend seems unnecessary, and the book's conclusion slightly undermines the lesson Morgan has learned about depending on herself instead of magic. All in all, though, readers will find enough fun here to cast the missteps aside. Ages 10-up. (Apr.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Gr 5-8-Morgan's in seventh grade and ready for a major makeover. There's a dance coming up and a boy she'd love to go with. Unfortunately, she needs some serious help. Morgan's mom died when she was little and her dad tries, but he isn't very useful in the fashion and social-advice department. Along comes Greta Fleetwing, a student at the Fairy Godmother Training Academy. Greta means well, but she's preoccupied with her friends and her cell phone and doesn't spend nearly enough time studying her fairy-arts book. Consequently, her spells have less than their desired effects, but the comic results make the expected outcomes fresh. The characters are warm and genuine, and readers who are not quite ready for Ann Brashares's The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (Delacorte, 2001) will enjoy this glimpse of one girl's encounters with magic, mayhem, and growing up. Even with its occasional predictability, this light and funny book is sure to be an entertaining summertime read.-Genevieve Gallagher, Orange County Public Library, VA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
William Shakespeare's magical love mix-up, A Midsummer Night's Dream, becomes an essentially un-enchanting send-up for middle-graders in this contemporary, hi-lo reader interpretation. Recast in the lead is motherless Morgan, a typical pre-teen crushing on classmate Ben. Her single father, meanwhile, seems smitten with the stuffy Louise, leaving Morgan to seek motherly counsel from the mom of her best friend, Sam. The stiffly told story plods along dully, even when a fairy-in-training suddenly appears in Morgan's dollhouse to lend a helping wand. This lack of literary magic is perplexing until a sitcom-worthy sequence of mishaps builds momentum for the climactic school-dance scene. But again, the anti-climactic final chapters suffer from over-explanation, awkward prose, and a missing charm that plagues the first half like the goofed-up love spells plaguing the fictional romances. (Fiction. 10-13)