Tuesday, March 1, 2011


By Alex Flinn

Rated: PG-13

Johnny is a 17-year old boy struggling to make ends meet at the shoe repair shop run by his family at a high end Miami hotel. One bright summer day, a beautiful princess with a fabulous accent, long blond locks and a belief in magic walks into the hotel. Before long, she determines that Johnny is just the pure-hearted boy to help find her brother, the heir to the Alorian throne, who has unfortunately been turned into a frog by a wicked witch. Faced with proof that magic does indeed exist, Johnny sets off on an adventure to find the prince, save the princess, seek his fortune, and maybe help solve a few other magical dilemmas on the way. Johnny's best friend, Meg, is determined to do what she can to help Johnny whether he wants it or not. . . and he may be surprised about what he doesn't know about his long-time friend.

This is a creative romp through a mishmash of fairytales with a modern twist. Recognizable are plot lines from the Elves and the Shoemaker, The Princess and the Frog, The Six Swans, The Valiant Tailor, the Fisherman and his Wife and several other fairytales as Johnny tries to fulfill his magical quest. There are extremely mild action scenes, a few scarce instances of taking God's name in vain, a couple of clean crushes, and a kiss or two (thus the PG-13 rating). All in all, a clean, entertaining, modern twist on some of my favorite fairytales.

ADDENDUM: I just read Beastly by the same author (and also currently a movie) and I cannot recommend it as a clean book due to several factors, the most critical of which is that the protagonist is a sexually promiscuous 9th grader. This author will have to be evaluated on a book-by-book basis as apparently not all of his are as clean as Cloaked.

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