Monday, February 22, 2010

The Girl Who Could Fly - Victoria Forester

Title: The Girl Who Could Fly
Author: Victoria Forester
Publisher: Square Fish, 2010 (Paperback)
Length: 328 pages
Genre: Children's Fantasy/Science Fiction
Started: February 13, 2010
Finished: February 22, 2010

You just can’t keep a good girl down . . . unless you use the proper methods. Piper McCloud can fly. Just like that. Easy as pie. Sure, she hasn’t mastered reverse propulsion and her turns are kind of sloppy, but she’s real good at loop-the-loops. Problem is, the good folk of Lowland County are afraid of Piper. And her ma’s at her wit’s end. So it seems only fitting that she leave her parents’ farm to attend a top-secret, maximum-security school for kids with exceptional abilities. School is great at first with a bunch of new friends whose skills range from super-strength to super-genius. (Plus all the homemade apple pie she can eat!) But Piper is special, even among the special. And there are consequences. Consequences too dire to talk about. Too crazy to consider. And too dangerous to ignore. The Girl Who Could Fly is an unforgettable story of defiance and courage about an irrepressible heroine who can, who will, who must . . . fly.

My husband and I were out book-shopping a week or so ago, and this little title caught my eye. Actually, the cover caught my eye, I love book covers done in this particular style, reminds me of comic books and graphic novels. Then when I saw it was under the Square Fish label, I decided to pick it up, I've read a few titles under that label and have never been disappointed. After reading The Girl Who Could Fly, it's going on my list of titles I'd love to read to a junior-level class (grades 4-6), especially a very bright class. This book is completely charming and funny to boot, but it also had a few moments that nearly made me cry and asking, "oh my god, is this really a kid's book?" It's been described as a mix between Little House on the Prairie and X-Men, and it so is. Piper lives with her ma and pa (that's right, ma and pa) in Lowland County in the middle of farm country. Her town's the traditional sort, so when baby Piper starts to float, needless to say it freaks her parents out. They keep Piper at home away from the townsfolk, hoping her problem will go away in time. When they bring Piper out and she gives away her ability during a baseball game, she is shunned and reprimanded for flying. Dr. Hellion of the I.N.S.A.N.E. institution soon shows up to whisk Piper away to this special school for people with special abilities. There's a kid with x-ray vision, a super-genius, a telekinetic, and even kids with super-speed. But Piper eventually begins to realize things at the school are not what they seem.

This novel is incredibly charming, which is mainly due to Piper. She has an amazing innocent curiosity about her, something so completely absent in children today, it was quite refreshing to read. Most of the characters are deeper than they appear, especially Conrad and Dr. Hellion; and the plot twists in this book were ones I was not expecting at all. The writing is sophisticated for a kid's book, and the message of being true to yourself even when being yourself is not considered "normal" is one that all kids will appreciate.

I dare you to read this book and not find it charming, c'mon, I dare ya. If you love the idea of a cute, country girl that can fly hanging out with other kids with powers, read this!

Thoughts on the cover:
I'll say it again, I love this cover. In a scene from towards the end of the book, you've got Piper flying with Dr. Hellion hanging off her foot. I love the shade of Piper's hair, the colour of her eyes, and the expression on her face. The gold lettering on the cover is a nice touch too.

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