From School Library Journal
Grade 3-5–On a dark and stormy night, James and Amanda discover a white-winged girl knocking on their attic skylight. Claiming to have a broken wing, she introduces herself as Hilary and quickly makes herself at home in the twins' bedroom. Amanda is certain that they have discovered an angel, while James remains unconvinced. Sure enough, it soon becomes clear that though she has wings, Hilary's no saint. She ruins family outings, trails the twins on field trips and to school, and even steals James's spotlight in the local Christmas pageant. The author of the amusing The Fish in Room 11
(Scholastic, 2004) tells another tale of children caring for a mythical creature. Unfortunately, this one never makes it clear whether or not Hilary truly is divine. Worse still, the winged girl never endears herself to the audience. She's whiny, thoughtless, and self-absorbed. The story itself flits between her numerous escapades, ending without much in the way of conclusion or resolution.–Elizabeth Bird, New York Public Library
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Gr. 2-4, younger for reading aloud. As in The Fish in Room 11
(2004), about a boy and a mermaid, Dyer tells a warm story of friendship between children and a magical friend--in this case, a young angel named Hilary. Twins James and Amanda are startled by a loud sound, "like a wet cabbage hitting a wall." The noise announces the arrival of cold, wet-winged Hilary, who drops through a window and ends up leading the twins on some farcical adventures. Hilary is eager to share in the twins' daily activities, so different from her life at home, a place she alludes to as having lots of old people and songs but never discloses. Some children may have logistical questions (don't the parents realize that Hilary is in the house?), but the flying scenes are thrilling, and kids will chortle over the gentle comedy and the likable angel who longs to live like a regular kid. Bailey's ink illustrations hit just the right notes of humor and old-fashioned whimsy. A good chapter book for newly confident readers. Gillian EngbergCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved