|Art of flying|
Author: Hoffman, J. A.
Eleven-year-old Fortuna Dalliance is asked by the weird Baldwin sisters to convince Martin, a distinctly bird-like boy, to return to his true form as a swallow but Fortuna is not sure she is willing to lose her new friend.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.60
Points: 10.0 Quiz: 173628
Kirkus Reviews (08/01/13)
School Library Journal (02/01/14)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 10/15/2013 Fortuna Dalliance has been sent on a mysterious mission to the Baldwins’ house, and she’s pretty sure they’re not just friendly old ladies down the street. The Baldwins, a pair of elderly witches, have accidentally turned three birds into people, which is an act punishable by death. Now they desperately need Fortuna to help them find Martin, one of the birds who escaped from their home, so they can turn him back before anyone on the witches’ council is the wiser. The only problem is that Martin doesn’t want to have anything to do with the Baldwins. Moreover, the two other birds, Martin’s brother and the cruel owl Arrakis, who wants to stay a human forever, are nowhere to be found. With the help of a magic notebook and a few talkative birds in the neighborhood, Fortuna and Martin set off on a search for the newly transformed. Though it suffers from uneven pacing and somewhat one-dimensional characters, Hoffman’s debut has enough magic and humorous witches to appeal to burgeoning fantasy fans. - Copyright 2013 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 02/01/2014 Gr 4–6—In this debut fantasy, Hoffman spins a tale of transformation. Eleven-year-old Fortuna's presence has been requested by her mysterious and strange neighbors, the old Baldwin sisters. They have transformed a sparrow into a boy, now called Martin, and are trying to restore him to his former self. However, Martin has run away, and they only have five days to turn him back before the change becomes permanent. Fortuna is recruited to help find the missing child because she's the daughter of a bird scientist, and as a child, she still has the ability to believe in magic. As she sets out on her hunt, her friend Peter has his own adventure in the woods, including a puzzling boy with birdlike qualities. Could this be the missing Martin? Or are there two fowl-turned-kids roaming their neighborhood? And who is the threatening man lurking near Fortuna's house, and how is he connected to the girl's quest? Fortuna is a likeable protagonist and the witchy sisters are comical, and ever-so-slightly scary. The transformed characters retain certain bird mannerisms, which adds interest and mild humor. The plot resolves neatly and satisfactorily, making this novel an appealing choice for those who like their fantasy on a smaller scale.—Sue Giffard, Ethical Culture Fieldston School, New York City - Copyright 2014 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.