cover image Happily For Now

Happily For Now

Kelly Jones, illus. by Kelly Murphy. Knopf, $16.99 (288p) ISBN 978-0-593-17952-9

Jones (Sauerkraut) delivers a witty play on traditional fairy tales with a healthy dose of emotional maturity. White, red-haired protagonist Fiona would rather help her mother at home than journey to live with unfamiliar relatives in a “creepy old house” in a town called Cold Hope. But when her mom enters treatment for addiction, Fiona—with the help of social worker Ms. Davis, cued as Black—channels her worries about both situations into “fairy-godperson training,” which involves helping others navigate their circumstances. Through Fiona’s frank narrative voice, Jones offers humorous allusions to familiar fairy tales with a timely slant—about Cinderella, “When you read about some girl going around covered in ashes... it’s pretty clear somebody should get that girl some help.” As Fiona attempts to work her magic with her tired relatives, who run a failing bakery, she inadvertently starts a war between their most creative alchemist, Aunt Becky, and a competing operation. Whimsical without being treacly, this on-point fairy tale handles its subject matter sensitively as Fiona learns that helping people isn’t as easy as it seems. Occasional illustrations by Murphy (Faraway Things) include detailed maps of the town. Ages 8–12. Author’s agent: Mandy Hubbard, Emerald City Literary. (May)