The Fairies of Turtle Creek

Children - Fantasy/Sci-Fi
322 Pages
Reviewed on 01/24/2014
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Author Biography

Jill K. Sayre was born and raised in southern California and received her degree in Art at U.C.L.A. She is an educator and writer, enjoying mixed media art and drawing as well.
When she moved to Dallas, she fell in love with Turtle Creek, and wrote her first book, "The Fairies of Turtle Creek", which has won several awards.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K T Bowes for Readers' Favorite

In The Fairies of Turtle Creek, Jill K. Sayre has cleverly painted Claire Collins as a little girl on the threshold of something new. She is in the hiatus between girl and womanhood, in that last summer before high school and at her most impressionable. Life experience has taught her that emotions are dangerous and should be avoided at all cost. In Claire's life, science and logic have replaced fanciful imaginings. With her older brother away serving his country, Claire sees emotion leaking out of her frantic parents and she chooses to immerse herself in her sketching and time spent with her good friend Lacey. Until the arrival of her Grandma from England. There are many unknown factors surrounding the old lady's visit - how long will she stay? Why is she coming? Will Claire be expected to interact with her? With the old lady's arrival comes the dawning of something new for Claire, opening her up to a different way of thinking about her world and herself, especially the completely non-scientific notion that fairies may actually exist. There are mirrors between Claire's life and her Grandma's, which are both intriguing and enchanting. But her Grandma has come home for two very specific reasons and Claire will be forced to struggle with both, until she learns how to deal with the depths of her own heart.

I adored the character of Claire. She is both plausible and yet quirky, childlike, and scientific. Jill K. Sayre has cleverly given us an inside view of a child’s dilemma and resolution. Immediately we are ‘part’ of the action rather than casual voyeurs. This novel is delightful, flawlessly executed and beautifully presented. The chapter breaks with their detailed embellishments and poetry are a joy to look at, even before the quality of the story is experienced. The descriptions of the natural world are detailed and interesting, betraying how much thought has gone into this novel, and the characters are both endearing and charming. This novel has a wide range of appeal, able to be enjoyed by an advanced primary reader, right through to older teenagers (who may not admit to reading it, but would thoroughly lose themselves in it) to adults, looking for something less cynical to get stuck into.

Jean Hall

Do you believe in fairies? Okay, let's keep an open mind and a soft heart about the whole issue. Childhood is a time when the magical can seem all too real and fascinating. Texas teenager Claire has clearly grown out of magical notions and she is greeting life with a scientific frame of mind. But circumstances may alter her feelings. The Fairies of Turtle Creek by Jill K. Sayre explores this teenage girl's life with artistic and emotional triumph. But don't forget the pixie dust, floating books, and the secrets of nature. Claire and her best friend Lacey get their feet muddy walking in Turtle Creek where there is an old stone bridge. Under the bridge there are supernatural whispers of things to come. Then Claire's grandmother Faye arrives from England to stay with the family after many years apart.

Jill K. Sayre embellishes this romantic and dreamlike story with detailed drawings, pinches of innocent humor, and two scrumptious recipes for baking. Fairies are God's little helpers who are most often found in the garden. The sights and smells of flowers and plants seem to jump off the page with their realistic descriptions. The possibility of fairies is introduced as an emotional reality to those that believe. The awkward and then blooming romance of Claire and handsome Grant makes the heart beat a little faster. The Fairies of Turtle Creek by Jill K. Sayre can be read and enjoyed by people of all ages that want to lift and expand their imaginations.

Faridah Nassozi

The Fairies of Turtle Creek by Jill K. Sayre is a fiction fantasy story about a young girl whose life is not exactly going as she had hoped. Her brother is in Iraq serving his country so she worries about him all the time and her dad travels a lot on business. She enjoys being at home, with just her and her mum in the house, because she has a lot of private time to read and draw. That is, until her mother announces that Grandma is coming to live with them. Claire eventually warms up to Grandma and as they get closer and closer, she learns about her belief in fairies and the magic of love. Claire enjoys story-time with Grandma, who tries to convince her that she, too, can see the fairies if she believes; but Claire has always believed in facts and such things like fairies and magic do not exist in her world.

Jill K. Sayre wrote a very beautiful story about the power of believing. The main character, Claire, gets to meet a grandmother she barely knew but grows to love dearly. The Fairies of Turtle Creek shows the simple and pure love that develops between Claire and her grandmother and how this transforms Claire into a more open and happier young girl. Jill K. Sayre shows how true and sincere love of family can change so many things. As Claire embraces her grandmother and learns about her life and the family history, she gets to appreciate life more. This book has shown me how someone can come along and touch your life so dearly and deeply, that not everything in life is black and white, and there is more to life that what we currently know - I just need to keep an open mind.

Bil Howard

At age thirteen, nobody believed in fairies any longer. However, when Claire Collins and her friend, Lacey, heard voices under the Old Stone Bridge which crosses Turtle Creek, they had no idea what they were hearing, but it had to have some kind of reasonable, scientific explanation. What Claire discovers in The Fairies of Turtle Creek by Jill K. Sayre is that not everything can be explained by science. With her dad often away on business and her brother serving in the war in Iraq, things are sometimes a bit too boring and too predictable, until her eccentric grandmother, who seems to be completely off her rocker mentally, comes from England to live with them. Then whole new worlds begin to open up for Claire that she had no idea existed beyond the realm of concrete science. As summer vacation starts, the beginning of the adventure of a lifetime starts as well. With her grandmother as her guide, Claire begins to investigate the folklore which her grandmother is passing on to her. Will she discover that fairies are real or will there actually be a scientific explanation for all of the strange things that take place during their summer vacation?

The Fairies of Turtle Creek is a delightful tale that brings the reader back to a point in time which we all believed was real. The investigation of the history and lore of the place gives plenty of foundation for the strange discoveries that the girls encounter. You’ll feel like you are a part of everything as Jill has done an excellent job of drawing the reader into the story. Mysterious, enlightening and inspired, The Fairies of Turtle Creek will not only have you wondering if fairies really do exist, but will leave you with a warm feeling of something shared and passed on from the old to the young.

Mamta Madhavan

The Fairies of Turtle Creek by Jill K. Sayre is a fantasy adventure that will capture the imagination of young readers. Claire is a thirteen-year-old with an older brother in the military, who is always away in Iraq. She spends a lot of time by herself, reading and sketching by the creek. Her life undergoes a magical change when her grandmother comes to live with them. What follows next is magic, love, hope, fairies, dreams, whimsy, and adventure. The book takes you on a fantastic roller coaster ride with a lot of fun-filled moments laced with lessons and messages on how to live life.

I found the story refreshingly honest. Grandmother stories always create an impact in the lives of kids. This story opens Claire's mind to life in an enchanting way. She starts looking at life, love, friendship, and everything around her with a different perspective, thanks to her grandmother's influence. The meaningful quotes at the beginning of each chapter, with the simple black and white sketches, are absolutely delightful and full of wisdom. The dominant themes are fear and loss, which are slowly replaced with the help of fairies to love and hope.

The book is just not about fantasy, fairies, and whimsy; it tells the reader about life in general and the book shows how love overtakes Claire's logical and scientific way of looking at life. The author's detailed descriptions add to the visual imagery of the story and help readers to form a picture of the scenes while reading.