Friday 26 April 2019

Nullaboo Hullabaloo

Nullaboo Hullabaloo by Fleur Ferris (Puffin) PB RRP $14.99 ISBN 9780143787143

Reviewed by Dianne Bates

Australian author Fleur Ferris has a track record of awards, having written three YA novels. Nullaboo Hullabaloo is her first novel for young readers. Set in a faraway country town, Nullaboo, the story is of Gemma Hart who has a few problems. Her family might be evicted from their farm and she’s been allocated march flies as the topic of her science competition. Of course, she would have preferred butterflies, but that topic went to last year’s winner, Nina.

Gemma’s mother is an entomologist so has lent her special bug catcher which magnifies things two hundred and fifty times their size and has a microphone and earbuds. The catcher comes in very handy when Gemma heads off to catch march flies. However, she catches something more remarkable – a fairy named Janomi who, despite not being supposed to talk to humans, does so. She tells Gemma of her plight: her grandfather has been captured by silver spiders. She enlists the girl’s help to find him and asks for the fact of fairies to become secret.

However, Nina finds the recording and before long there’s a hullabaloo – a media frenzy -- and the fairy colony is under threat. Gemma and her family, friends, neighbours and school mates must take matters into their own hands in a bid to save the last fairy colony on earth.

This book which will probably be most enjoyed by girls aged 8 to 11  years, is illustrated with black and white pictures by Briony Stewart.

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