"Many tales, legends and myths say the opal helps people by giving them insight and the ability to predict what's to come, what will be."
The classic theme of good versus evil takes form in an enchanting, unknown area of Australia, Frazer Glazia. Revolving around the world of fairies, Young demonstrates the importance of being responsible with power and teaches readers how to respond to bullies. Children of the fairy queen, Queen Frazer Glazia, Holly, Tahzia, and Bosco find their peaceful lives interrupted by Holly's seven-year-old doppelganger, as well as an onslaught of quolls, crocodiles, paper wasps, and other remnants of Queen Lightning supporters. At its core, Frazer Glazia is purely entertaining and educational; the author describes the siblings' adventure to Snapper Island through enriching facts about Australia's animals.
Mesmerizing descriptions of "bubbling creeks" and the "light splashing of the waterfalls," help the reader both visualize and become one with the land of fairies. Along with the faithful lizard, Izzy and the doppelganger Maggie, the three fairy siblings are entrusted with the infamous and omnipotent Opal Heart, a force that can lead to disastrous results if it falls into the wrong hands.
Young does a commendable job of giving younger children a taste of fantasy along the lines of Harry Potter, without the complex plot twists and character arcs. In fact, the plot is as simple as it is alluring: Queen Lightning's dark forces are invading Frazer Glazia and Holly and company must rise to the challenge. While Young avoids the intensity and raging battles of Harry Potter, she uses the unique element of comic relief in the heat of battle to elicit humor from her elementary readers. For example, the main weapon of a dark fairy, Namorrodor, is the flying booger.
Opal Heart is an intriguing combination of riveting plot, strong characterization, and educational insight that young readers everywhere will relish.
RECOMMENDED by the US Review