This book is delightful. It is a true story about two girls in England in the 1920's. Two girls: Frances and Elsie become friends while their families help one another during the war. They have a great friendship. It reminded me of my good friends-the ones that when you get together you have a great time, like you've never been apart. I've never been one to make friends quickly - but these two do. "Elsie was the kind of person who seemed as though you'd always known her" (page 7)
The photos looked likes ones I think I have also seen. Experts in photography at the time believed that the photos were real. and influential people of the time, including Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (author of Sherlock Holmes) were sure that fairies were real and latched onto these photos as proof.
P. 142 Sir Arthur's father lived in that insane asylum. He'd gone away, never to return, when Sir Arthur was seventeen. In the asylum, Sir Arthur's father drew pictures of tiny people holding leaves as big as umbrellas or lucking in flowerpots or hiding on the backs of birds. Sir Arthur didn't mention any of that in The Coming of Fairies. But if fairies were real, Sir Arthur's father wasn't crazy after all.
The story is entertaining as all these people start and continue believing the girls. They're educated and wise and older and the girls become kind of cynical of these people. They grew to be old ladies before the truth of the photos came out. Perhaps people’s beliefs that there are fairies made them more inclined to believe that these young girls were innocent of any scam. They were innocent in that they never intended the photos to become public and particularly not in the vast way that happened.
I think this would be a fun book to do in our school's Gr. 3 book club. They would, however, need to be interested in the idea of fairies to stick with it, I think. Then again, maybe they'd be interested in the simple idea that these girls fooled the world.