I was charmed by this sweet adventure story about a girl named Fortuna who finds a friend in Martin, a shy boy who has been transformed from bird to human. The fantasy elements–witchcraft, talking animals, and flying children–all felt believable.
Publisher’s description: Fortuna Dalliance is practical. Rational. Clever. But when she finds herself at the doorstep of an adventure, she discovers something that has been inside her all along: the courage to step through.
The old Baldwin sisters are in trouble, and they’ve asked Fortuna to help them out of a fix. The sisters have accidentally turned a swallow into a boy, and he refuses to be turned back. But if Martin doesn’t return to his original form within five days, he’ll remain a boy forever . . . and the Baldwin sisters will have a lot to answer for. Fortuna’s not sure she believes in magic, and once she’s gotten to know Martin, she’s not sure she wants him to be changed back. As Fortuna figures out what it truly means to be a friend, she must decide whose side she’s on-before it’s too late.
Judy Hoffman’s debut, with delightful illustrations by Stephanie Graegin, weaves an enchanting tale of loyalty, freedom, and feathers.
Hand this book to the kid who:
* wants to read about witches and bad guys but isn’t ready for anything super scary yet,
* has a best friend who drifts away–not because of an argument, but just with the passage of time,
* loves being outside, or
* anyone who has ever dreamed of flying.
Use this to teach:
* Points of view–While this story is told from Fortuna’s point of view, her challenge is to realize that what she wants isn’t necessarily best for her new friend, Martin. She has to make some tough choices for the benefit of her friend, which would make a good discussion starter on empathy and what it means to be a good friend.
* Anti-Bullying Strategies--The antagonist in the story is a bully–both in his human and owl form. The Baldwin sisters get into trouble because they change Martin and his brother from swallows into boys when they are being bullied by the owl. Use this opportunity to discuss the role of bystanders in bullying and what kids can do when they witness another person being bullied.
*Types of Conflict–There’re a lot examples to choose from in this story–character vs. character, self, and…magic.
The Nitty Gritty~
Publication Date: October 29, 2013
Number of Pages: 310