Delilah Dusticle by A.J. York
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A charming story with a positive message.
Delilah Dusticle has a special gift: she can magically eradicate dust with uncanny ease. Her skills are much sought after, but she remains steadfastly loyal to her employers, the Fenchurch-Whittingtons, not because the offers she receives aren't attractive, but because she has a crush on their son, Charlie. With a light heart and her dust destroying skills in full bloom, Delilah revels in the occassional smile or admiring comment. However, her world and her abilities are shattered when Charlie comes home from a business trip with a new fiance in tow.
This story, while short, packs a powerful message of friendship, self-worth, and looking for the good in what you have. Delilah wears her heart on her sleeve, literally, as when she's down and doubting herself her powers backfire and coat her and everthing around her with dust. An unlikely friendship and the insight it brings finally bring her out of her cloud and back into the spotless sunshine and help her to realize that she has something to offer and that feeling sorry for herself won't get her anywhere.
The book is well written and the plot leaves no loose ends. The message is solid and the delivery is delightful. It slightly reminds me of Mary Poppins, where the ordinary servant has extraordinary powers, but in this case, Delilah comes off as more real than fantasy.
Overall, I really liked this book and recommend it to those who like a quick, positive read with a little humor and magic mixed in. I think this story would appeal mostly to adults because they are more likely to empathize with Delilah, but it is appropriate for a younger audience as well.
I received a free copy of this book in return for an honest, non-reciprocal review.
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Links of interest:
Illustrator website : http://www.gavinchilds.com