fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsLiz Kessler 1. Philippa Fisher's Fairy GodsisterPhilippa Fisher and the Fairy Godsister by Liz Kessler

Philippa Fisher is your average 11½ year old — her parents are embarrassing and she wishes she was popular. When her best friend moves away, she is so sad that she comes to the attention of the fairy godmothers. They assign Daisy, who’s never worked with humans before, to Philippa’s case. Daisy must grant Philippa three wishes, but Daisy also has her own lessons to learn about compassion if she wants to advance in fairy society.

I listened to the audiobook version of Philippa Fisher and the Fairy Godsister (also titled Philippa Fisher’s Fairy Godsister in some markets) with my 9 year old daughter, Tali. We thought Philippa was charming and that the audiobook reader, Kate Reinders, did a wonderful job with all of the characters. In fact, the perfection of the reading was one of the best parts of my experience with this novel and I often found myself smiling at Ms. Reinders’ delightful voices.

As an adult reader, I thought Philippa Fisher and the Fairy Godsister was highly predictable and I am weary of the I-wish-I-was-popular and my-parents-are-so-weird themes. But Tali isn’t tired of these yet and the “be yourself” message comes across effectively, even if the characters’ sudden epiphanies and changes in attitude seemed unrealistic to me. Particularly well done was Philippa’s realization that the mean girl is popular because nobody wants to be on her bad side.

Overall, Philippa Fisher and the Fairy Godsister is a sweet, if predictable and unoriginal, story with a good lesson for young girls. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to girls who enjoy these types of stories and I may decide to read further in this series if my daughter wants to read them with me.


  • Kat Hooper

    KAT HOOPER, who started this site in June 2007, earned a Ph.D. in neuroscience and psychology at Indiana University (Bloomington) and now teaches and conducts brain research at the University of North Florida. When she reads fiction, she wants to encounter new ideas and lots of imagination. She wants to view the world in a different way. She wants to have her mind blown. She loves beautiful language and has no patience for dull prose, vapid romance, or cheesy dialogue. She prefers complex characterization, intriguing plots, and plenty of action. Favorite authors are Jack Vance, Robin Hobb, Kage Baker, William Gibson, Gene Wolfe, Richard Matheson, and C.S. Lewis.

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