Read a review published in the American Library Association Booklist for The Fairies of Nutfolk Wood, a mid-grade children's novel by Barb Bentler Ullman. The Booklist is a subscriber-only list of reviews for new publications serving librarians.

Book Review: The Fairies of Nutfolk Wood

*STAR* Ullman, Barb Bentler. The Fairies of Nutfolk Wood. June 2006. 256p. HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen, $15.99 (0-06-073614-3).

"Gr. 3–5. Worn thin and ill by stress, 10-year-old Willa is eager to move out of her spiteful grandmother’s house after her parents divorce. After she and her mother move into a trailer in the woods, they meet Hazel, a kind, eccentric old woman who lives nearby. During the summer, Hazel watches Willa while her mother works, and Willa assists Hazel with her chores, which helps the child grow stronger. Willa also begins to read between the lines of Hazel’s many stories. Soon they share a secret: a band of woodland fairies called the Nutfolk lives in the woods, invisible to all but a few. When humans threaten their unseen neighbors, Willa and Hazel fight back. With so many fantasies set in vaguely medieval realms, it’s refreshing to find one with a homey American backdrop. Ullman’s first novel affirms homespun, American values as well, such as the benefits of physical work and nature; Hazel’s advice on scaring spiders from the privy and the details of doing laundry pioneer-style are as involving as the particulars of the Nutfolk’s cabins, clothes, and magic. A convincing first-person narrative with the wholesome appeal of fresh-baked bread." --Carolyn Phelan

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