October 8th, 2006

Lucy Woodward, happy

Have a Heart, Cupid Delaney by Ellen Leroe

There are many stories in which an adolescent character comes into contact with a fairy, an angel, or a cupid who grants wishes - or at least attempts to do so. The results can be disastrous, hilarious, or both.

Of all of the books I've read that deal with cupids, Have a Heart, Cupid Delaney by Ellen Leroe is my absolute favorite. To earn her wings, a female cupid must observe four high school students on Earth. Delaney is assigned to make two pairs - each with one popular kid and one not-so-popular kid. Though she is determined to earn her wings and show her superiors that she can do her job, Cupid Delaney really messes up the plans when she herself falls in love!

I read Have a Heart, Cupid Delaney over and over again when I was in elementary school. Years later, I found the sequel, Meet Your Match, Cupid Delaney. Written by the same author and in the same vein, it continues Delaney's story and will appeal to fans of the original.

This book would have made for a super cute television movie. In fact, those who enjoyed the short-lived television series Cupid with Jeremy Piven or the Mickey Mouse Club sponsored television series Teen Angel with Jason Priestley and Renée O'Connor or Teen Angel Returns with Robyn Lively will also like this book.

Have a Heart, Cupid Delaney is cute, funny, and fun. Cupid Delaney's escapades are good-natured and Leroe's writing is witty. Find a copy and give it to someone for Valentine's Day!

Related Booklist: Funny Fantasy Novels for Kids and Teens

Cornelia and the Audacious Escapades of the Somerset Sisters by Lesley M.M. Blume

Eleven year old Cornelia Street considers herself a wordsmith. She'd rather curl up with a good book than socialize with her classmates. At the end of the schoolday, she heads home to her apartment building in Greenwich Village, where members of the household staff await her - but where her mother rarely stays.

Cornelia's parents are both world-famous pianists. Most people would envy that fame and that talent, but not Cornelia. She has no desire to play piano herself and wishes that her jet-setting mother were home more often. Her father is not in the picture; Cornelia has never known him. Though she has every (material) thing she could need, Cornelia is lonely.

That is, until new neighbors move in across the hall. Who would have thought that an elderly woman would become a little girl's best friend? The dazzling Virginia Somerset shares Cornelia's love for stories and big words. The self-proclaimed Scheherazade tells Cornelia amazing tales that star Virginia and her three sisters as they travel all over the world, meeting famous artists and leaders.

Cornelia and the Audacious Escapades of the Somerset Sisters by Lesley M.M. Blume is absolutely adorable. What a delightful book! I loved the story-within-a-story format and the descriptive writing. I could almost see Virginia's eyes sparkle as she related her adventures to Cornelia. If it had been released fifteen years ago and I had found it at my local library, it would have become one of the titles checked it out and read repeatedly.

Want to learn more about the real-life New York eateries and pug dog featured in the book? Watch this video from Scholastic with Lesley.

Read my 2006 interview with the author.

Read my 2008 interview with the author.

(Review of her second novel, The Rising Star of Rusty Nail, to come.)

Read my review of Lesley's third novel, Tennyson.