Evil Fairies Love Hair, by Mary G. Thompson

Evil Fairies Love Hair, by Mary G. Thompson (Clarion Books, August 2014, middle grade).

On the face of it, the instructions seemed simple enough--raise a flock of tiny fairies, feeding them on human hair, pass a starter flock on to another kid, and get a wish once that flock has been grown as well.  Ali is sure she'll be able to do it....but the instructions were not written to be what one might call as helpful as they might be.   And the fairies are not in the business of granting wishes just to be friendly.

In fact, they are evil fairies! (as the title indicates).   And from a relatively simple struggle to find enough hair (that's not her own) to feed her voracious flock, Ali finds herself in a very complicated struggle indeed to foil the nasty plot of the fairy mastermind, who's determined to give her fairy kin a new lease on life.  A lease on human life, to be more exact.

Tangled snarl after tangled snarl complicates Ali's efforts to save friends and family for the greedy little hands of the fairies, and it becomes a wild ride indeed, with things getting worse and worse and worse and more and more complicated....

In the interests of full disclosure, I have never read a Goosebumps book.  That does not stop me, though, from recommending this one to the young reader who has, and who is ready for something a step beyond.   In short, Evil Fairies Love Hair is a horror book of magic going horribly wrong sort, with real world consequences, in which the creep factor grows from the simple consumption of human hair (icky) to the insanity of nightmare fairies taking over the characters home town. 

The character of Ali, bravely holding it together while she tries to use her brains to outwit the fairies (who aren't the brightest little hamsters in the litter) holds things together in a more or less coherent story, and there are interesting bits of subplot involving her friendships, which evolve as events progress.  (Just for the record--one of these characters is a smoker, who evolves into a non-smoker, and a more sympathetic character than he first appears.  It's odd to find kids who smoke in middle grade books, but at least here it's presented in negative way, as something that makes him repellent).

And even though this book wasn't really to my personal taste, I couldn't help but be rather fascinated by the magical train wreck of it all.  It's not exactly a funny book, but the insane grotesquerie of it all may well amuse readers with a fondness for wacky creepy mayhem!  It's the sort of book whose cover, I think, will do a good job selecting its audience.

That being said, its not one I'd leap to give the reader who actually loves fantasy for the sake of its magical escape from reality!


  1. You've never read any Goosebumps? I guess it's hard for me to believe because those were the thing when I was a kid.

  2. Interesting review! I have to admit that it doesn't sound particularly appealing to me either (I've read some Goosebumps, but they were never my thing), but if it's well-written and entertaining, I'm sure it will find its audience.

  3. I love your description of it being a magical train wreak. That is so apt!


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