Friday, April 27, 2012

The Girl Who Could Fly - Victoria Forester

Read Mindy's review here.

Summary:  SHE CAN FLY!

Piper McCloud lives with her normal ma and pa on a normal farm in normal Lowland County.  But Piper isn't your normal girl.  Ever since Piper was a baby, she's been able to hover a few feet off the ground, and if the people of Lowland County knew she could fly, they would have something to say about it.  So, it only seems best that Piper be sent away to I.N.S.A.N.E., the top secret school for children with extraordinary abilities like hers.  Her new friends have powers like telekinesis, X-ray vision, and the ability to create their own weather.  Piper likes her new life at school, but soon, she realizes things aren't always as they seem.  Now, the school she was sent to for her own protection might be the most dangerous place she's ever been.  (Summary from back of the book and image from

My Review:  I was a more than a little disappointed in this book.  It was predictable, felt rushed, and had obvious, although abrupt, twists.  Maybe this is because it's a children's book, but I still didn't like it.  I personally think children can see the contrived plot.  It comes highly recommended by Stephanie Meyer, but I'm not sure what to think of that recommendation.  It was a mix of X-men and Little House on the Prairie and for me that felt awkward.  The characters were fairly well developed:  Piper is a fun little girl, with a spunky, lovable personality, and innocence of spirit that is quite endearing.  The villain is depicted well--great outer facade to cover sinister evil which in turn is covering complex pain and guilt.  The layers of complexity in the villain's character brought the story up in my estimation, but the overall flow still brought down my rating.  It felt like you were going along, understanding the plot and abruptly it all changes again and yet again.  The flow felt off.

The other aspect to the book that I didn't entirely like was the overall theme.  While I agree that old-fashioned ways can be negative when they are centered on bigotry, prejudice or racism, when it paints all adult wisdom negatively it rubs me wrong.  Change is a good thing when it's for the better, but there are times when change isn't for the best.  I felt this story leaned too far to the 'all adults and their reasoning can't be trusted' end of the spectrum.

Lastly, the story seemed very benign in it's content--for a children's book--until the very end.  During the climax the author threw in some (Biblical) swear words.  It did not seem to fit the rest of the story and changed the book in my eyes from a children's book to more of a YA book.  The problem is, the overall story is definitely more children's, so younger YA's would probably tolerate it, but I don't see my students embracing it. 

Rating:  2.75 stars

For the sensitive reader:  You get almost to the end of the book and the author throws in a couple swear words.  They felt very out of place to me, and although they're the Biblical kind, I still didn't feel it was necessary or flowed with the rest of the story.

Sum it up:  A child's innocence trumps all adult understanding kind of book.


Monica said...

My 9 year old daughter really liked this book and wanted me to read it - but it went back to the library before I got a chance. She thought it was great. (But then I don't think kids are quite as picky as adults)

MindySue said...

I really liked it as well!


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