Hailey Twitch is a pretty average second grader. She enjoys school, except on the occasions when she is forced to interact with her arch enemy, Addie Jokobeck. She struggles a little with good behavior (what kid doesn't?) and argues occasionally with her older sister, Kaitlyn. There is one thing that isn't the least bit normal about Hailey - one tiny thing with sparkly yellow hair, light purple wings and big blue eyes.
While pouting in her room, Hailey discovers a miniature sprite named Ms. Maybelle Sinclair. She had been locked away in Hailey's dollhouse for being overly concerned with rules, otherwise known as a rule monger, which definitely is not sprite-like behavior. Sprites are supposed to be all about sparkles and fun - good times at all times. In order to have her magic restored, Maybelle will have to prove to the Department of Magic that she's capable of ignoring the rules and creating fun.
Hailey has just been assigned to partner with the despised Addie Jokobeck on a class project. Could Maybelle be the key to helping Hailey get away from Addie and assigned to a new partner? It turns out that Hailey is the only who can actually see or hear her little spritely friend, which results in a few sticky (and comical) situations. Unfortunately, Maybelle is so intent on proving that she can be fun that she's getting Hailey into trouble instead of helping her out! Along the way, Hailey starts to discover that maybe Addie isn't so bad after all ... and maybe having a sprite around isn't as great as she had imagined.
I don't know that Lauren Barnholdt would appreciate the comparison, but I think her writing style here is similar to the Junie B. Jones series from Barbara Park. The sentence structure is short and a bit choppy, which is exactly how second graders tend to speak. The big difference for me is the Junie books tend to use non-words, like "I runned right over there." which has always driven me crazy.
So, we have an interesting storyline with the addition of fun illustrations from Suzanne Beaky dotting the pages. There is a mythical flying creature, with sparkly hair and fairy wings, a little cattiness with girls being girls and best of all, the promise of magic! Overall, a very fun read. The book ends with a bit of uncertainty as to Maybelle's future - I hope that means there is a sequel in Hailey's future. Read an excerpt here from Lauren's site to see what you think. She also has a funny blog that is worth checking out.