fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewschildren's fantasy book reviews Betty Brock No Flying in the HouseNo Flying in the House by Betty Brock

Annabel Tippins is not like other girls. First, she has no parents. Second, she is cared for by a tiny white dog named Gloria. Third, Gloria can talk. When Annabel starts to discover the truth about her past, she’ll have to make a choice between the parents she has always wanted, and the best friend she has ever had.

No Flying in the House
by Betty Brock is an engaging tale of a young girl trying to find her way in the world with only a little dog for guidance. Torn between her love for Gloria, and her discovery that she is a fairy, Annabel tries to discover the truth behind her parents’ disappearance. The subject material is mostly lighthearted, but the evil Belinda adds a note of sinister tension to the story without being too scary for younger readers. The relationship between Annabel and Gloria is charming, and the story teaches an important lesson about love and sacrifice, without being overly preachy or heavy-handed.

This adorable book, written for those in the 9-12 year old age group, is as magical now as when I read it as a young girl. I can still remember trying to kiss my elbow to see if I too was a fairy. While this book probably won’t appeal to older readers who didn’t read it as a young person, No Flying in the House is a wonderful independent reading book for those in the 9-12 year old age group, or as a chapter book with a parent at bedtime for younger readers.

No Flying in the House — (1978) Ages 9-12. Publisher: Most little girls have parents to take care of them, but not Annabel Tippens. She has Gloria, a tiny white dog who talks and wears a gold collar. Annabel never thought it was strange that she had Gloria instead of real parents. Until one day a wicked, wicked cat named Belinda comes to tell her the truth — she’s not just a little girl, she’s a half-fairy! And she can do lots of things that other kids can’t do, such as kiss her own elbow and fly around the house. But being a fairy isn’t all fun and games, and soon Annabel must make a choice. If she chooses to be a fairy, she’ll have to say good-bye to Gloria forever. How can she decide between her newly found magic and her dearest friend?


  • Ruth Arnell

    RUTH ARNELL (on FanLit's staff January 2009 — August 2013) earned a Ph.D. in political science and is a college professor in Idaho. From a young age she has maxed out her library card the way some people do credit cards. Ruth started reading fantasy with A Wrinkle in Time and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe — books that still occupy an honored spot on her bookshelf today. Ruth and her husband have a young son, but their house is actually presided over by a flame-point Siamese who answers, sometimes, to the name of Griffon.

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