The Children’s Book Review
Published: March 27, 2012
The Fairy Ring, Or Elsie and Frances Fool the World
By Mary Losure
Candlewick Press, March 27, 2012
Elsie is a terrible speller and hates school. The only thing she’s ever been good at is art. Then one day, she gets a letter. It’s from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, author of the Sherlock Holmes stories.
“I have seen the wonderful pictures of fairies which you and your cousin Frances have taken, and I have not been so interested for a long time,” the great man writes.
How can she tell the creator of the world’s most famous detective that the fairies in the photographs are cardboard cutouts?
She never meant to bamboozle him! She and her cousin Frances only took the photos so their parents would stop teasing! It began after Frances told the grownups about the fairies, real fairies, she’d seen
by the waterfall behind their house….
“The remarkable, true story of a fairy hoax successfully perpetrated by two young girls in the early 1900s offers a fascinating examination of human nature.”
“Losure’s elegant and charmingly formal prose makes palpable the girls’ loss of control as their fame spirals ever wider… The photos themselves are included and, like the astonishing true story, they are simultaneously silly and haunting.”
“Accompanied by the famous photos, the story is written in an accessible narrative style that includes the attitudes of the time and explains historical items like the use of hatpins and how cameras of the period worked. An intriguing glimpse into a photo-doctoring scandal well before the advent of Photoshop.”
The Horn Book—Starred review
“The yearning for the supernatural and the magical to be real seems timeless…. Losure has written an engaging account of the affair, focusing sympathetically on the two young photographers….”
A Junior Library Guild Selection
For more information, visit: http://www.marylosure.com
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