The magical world of the Realm has a terrible problem -- a plague of mischievous, troublemaking Peskies. A wild west wind has brought the tiny creatures down from the hills in the thousands. They're making life in the Realm impossible, and eating up all the magic!
It's been hundreds of years since the last Peskie plague, and even Queen Helena doesn't know what to do. Then Jessie comes up with an answer: an old, forgotten spell that will lead her and her friends on a fascinating journey -- and straight into trouble.
About the Author
Emily Rodda has written many books for children, including Finders Keepers, which School Library journal dubbed "a lively adventure," and several novels about the likable hero Rowan. The first of these novels, Rowan of Rin, won the Children's Book Council of Australia Book of the Year for Younger Readers Award when it was first published. In fact, Emily Rodda has won the Children's Book Council of Australia Book of the Year Award an unprecedented five times. A former editor, Ms. Rodda is also the best-selling author of adult mysteries under the name Jennifer Rowe. She lives in Australia.
Read an Excerpt
Fairy Realm #9: The Peskie Spell
By Emily Rodda
HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.Copyright ©2006 Emily Rodda
All right reserved.
It was a fine, sunny Sunday, but a wild wind blew around the old house called Blue Moon, rattling the windows and tossing the branches of the trees. Red and yellow leaves swirled in the air like flocks of small, bright birds.
Inside the house, Jessie glanced up at the leaves flying past the high windows of her grandfather's studio. She felt jumpy and uneasy. She was supposed to be dusting a pile of sketchbooks she'd taken from a glass-fronted cabinet, but she just couldn't concentrate.
"This is what Granny calls 'pesky weather,'" she said to her mother, who was sweeping the studio floor. "Remember that song she always sings when it's sunny and windy both at the same time?"
Rosemary smiled and began to sing, moving her broom in time to the music:
"Pesky weather, nothing goes right!
Pesky weather, lock the Doors tight!
Make a magic brew
With seven drops of dew,
A drop of thistle milk,
And a strand of spider silk . . ."
She broke off, laughing. "Well, things have gone right for us today, Jess, in spite of the pesky weather," she said. "The studio's looking pretty good, now. It'll just need a quick dust before the photographer comes on Thursday."
"Will Granny be home by then?" Jessie asked. Her grandmother was away seeing some people at the National Gallery who were organizing a big exhibition of her late husband's famous fairy paintings. The exhibition was to be held in a few months' time, and a photograph of the Blue Moon studio was going to be part of it.
"Oh, yes," Rosemary said. "She'll be back on Tuesday night. How are you going with those sketchbooks, Jess?"
"Nearly finished," said Jessie hastily. She knew she'd been spending more time looking at the books than cleaning them. The one she was holding now was filled with sketches of trees, leaves, and flowers, and she'd found some real flowers pressed between the pages, too: forget-me-nots, violets, and many other flowers she didn't know.
"Can I borrow this one, Mum?" she asked, holding up the book.
"Sure," her mother said. "Just be careful with it. And don't take it outside."
Jessie put the sketchbook on top of the glass-fronted cabinet and went on dusting the other books and stacking them away.
It was her grandfather's fairy paintings that had made him famous, but he'd painted landscapes, trees, flowers, birds, and animals, too. People who saw his sketchbooks were always fascinated. "What an imagination Robert Belairs had," they'd say. "It's just as if fantasy creatures like griffins and mermaids were just as real to him as lizards and cockatoos!"
Little did they know that there was a very good reason for this -- the best reason in the world. Jessie's grandfather had seen griffins and mermaids and other strange beings with his own eyes. He'd seen them in the magical world of the Realm, after he discovered an invisible Door at the bottom of the Blue Moon garden. For years he'd brought back sketches from the Realm. Then, one day, he'd brought back something else: the Realm princess called Jessica, who was to become his wife, Rosemary's mother, and Jessie's very special grandmother.
Only Jessie shared Granny's secret. She'd discovered it by accident and had promised to keep it. She knew she couldn't tell anyone about the Realm. But how she'd have loved to talk about it with her mother, with her best friend, Sal -- and even with her schoolteacher, Ms. Stone, who was always criticizing her for writing about magical things instead of what Ms. Stone called "real life"!
If only she could tell them about the Realm -- and about her friends Giff the elf, Maybelle the miniature horse, Patrice the palace housekeeper, and Queen Helena, who ruled the Realm in her sister Jessica's place! If only she could tell them that every charm on the gold bracelet now jingling softly on her wrist was a gift from the Realm to remind her of an exciting adventure.
The Realm . . .
Jessie frowned. Thoughts of the Realm had brought back the restless, uneasy feeling and now it was stronger than ever.
"Jessie, is something wrong?"
Jessie looked up quickly, meeting her mother's puzzled eyes. "You've obviously got something on your mind," Rosemary said. "Is Ms. Stone giving you trouble at school again?"
Jessie forced a smile. "No," she said. "Ms. Stone's concentrating on Lisa Wells and Rachel Lew at the moment. She followed them up from the parking lot on Friday morning and saw that they were jumping over all the cracks in the path. When she asked them why, they said it was because stepping on a crack was bad luck." Despite herself, she giggled.
Rosemary laughed with her. "I can just imagine what Ms. Stone said about that!" she said, turning back to her sweeping.
"Yeah," said Jessie. "In class she went on for ages about how stupid it was to believe in things like that. Then she asked everyone to tell her all the sayings about bad luck they knew. She wrote them down and said that on Monday she was going to prove that none of them is true."
Rosemary shook her head. "Your Ms. Stone's really got a bee in her bonnet about make-believe, hasn't she?" she said. "It's as if she's on a one-woman quest to stamp it out. She's right about superstitions being silly, of course. But she won't be able to prove it. In fact -- "
"Yoo-hoo!" called a voice from the back door. "It's only me."
Jessie and her mother exchanged rueful glances. "Come in, Louise," Rosemary called back. "We're in the studio."
Mrs. Tweedie, their next-door neighbor, appeared at the studio door. Her spiky gray hair had been blown about by the wind, and her pointed nose was bright red at the tip. Flynn, Granny's big orange cat, was stalking behind her, looking very disapproving.
Excerpted from Fairy Realm #9: The Peskie Spell by Emily Rodda Copyright ©2006 by Emily Rodda. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
It is a story with magic and a Fairy Queen. She left the magic realm to marry someone and leave. Her grandaughter has magic adventures in the realm.
This book is about when jessie can't get into the realm and has to use her grandmothers sercret way to get there.Along the way she finds many things like peskies,her old friends again,and Dally Glade.Jessie has to think of granny's old forgotten spell to have no more peskies.But when they have everything,they have the wrong kind of flower.Can Jessie find it or will peskies be there for ever?