Nullaboo hullabaloo by Fleur Ferris
Puffin 2019. ISBN: 9780143787143.
(Age: 10+) Highly recommended. Themes: Fairies, School, Competition, Environment. Gemma Hart wants to research butterflies for this year's science competition. The school won first prize last year and this year Gemma wants to emulate her former friend's success.
But Gemma is given the topic of march flies and dispirited goes into the school garden to see if she can spy any. What she sees is a feather and capturing this in her nifty bug catcher finds it is a fairy called Janomi and it needs her help. Janomi tells Gemma about her colony and how their leader, Papa Faffa, has been taken prisoner by their enemies, the silver spiders. Gemma promises to help rescue him.
But footage of the fairies ends up on the Internet, and Gemma and her family must do all they can do to save the colony being uncovered and exploited by the DUP (Department of Unexpected Things) represented by two most inept officers.
This action filled story about the magical world of fairies is also a story about community, working together to preserve living creatures and the environment. Along the way it is about friendship and being able to see past differences of opinion when lives are at stake. The story focusses on families and friends and a small community working together to achieve its aims.
This is Australian author Fleur Ferris's first novel for younger readers. After her working life as a police office and paramedic, Fleur has used her knowledge of the darker side of life to write the award winning Risk, followed by Wreck and Found, all three gripping young adult stories based on her sound knowledge of police work.
Nullaboo hullaballoo is certainly different from the three novels previously written by Ferris, but the target audience will read it readily, and hope like me that it is the first of a series of stories about fairies in our backyard.