The Girl Who Could Fly by Victoria Forester
|The Girl Who Could Fly by Victoria Forester|
|Genre: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: Ruth Ng|
|Summary: An exciting hodge-podge of a story that reads partly like Anne of Green Gables, partly like X-Men, but somehow it won me over and I loved it!|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 336||Date: January 2010|
|Publisher: Macmillan's Children's Books|
Have you ever wondered what it would be like if you could fly? It would be such a wonderful sensation, soaring through the air, looping the loop, swooping down over your house and garden. But have you also stopped to think what other people might think if they saw that you could fly whilst no one else could? Would children still want to be your friend? What would your family think? The little girl in this story, Piper McCloud, can fly. She lives on her parents farm and was always a little, well, unusual, and after her mum found her floating in the air one day when she was a baby she decided to home school Piper, rather than expose her to the gossips in the village. But one day, at the village picnic, Piper flies during the baseball match as she tries to catch the ball, and suddenly her whole life is turned upside down...
I wasn't quite sure about this book when I first started it. It seemed to have lots of similarities to Anne of Green Gables (probably my favourite book ever) and I couldn't figure out if the writer was doing it intentionally or not, but Piper was so sweet and naive that I grew to like her, and became more interested in the story itself than the influences of the author.
After Piper's flying at the picnic the news spreads like wildfire and her farmhouse is surrounded by the press, all eager for a picture of the girl who can fly. However, a large government team quickly, efficiently swoops in, clears them away and kills the story before going in to speak to Piper and her family about her going away to a 'special' school. She reluctantly leaves her family and joins the school and so we move onto the X-Men side of the story. Piper's new world is mysterious and exciting. She meets other children who, like her, have unusual skills, and although she is initially very happy there she soon discovers that there is something suspicious, and very dangerous, going on.
I can't say too much more about the plot because there are lots of twists and turns and I wouldn't want to spoil the big revelation. Suffice it to say that I was gripped. Piper continues to charm as a character, and the other children at the school are interesting and appealing. I enjoyed discovering the set up of the school, and felt early on that it was going to turn out that something wasn't quite right there. It's one of those books where the kids have to work together to help themselves escape the mean adults, and that always has a certain kind of appeal. I think it's worth mentioning, though, that some of the later scenes do involve torture and so although this is billed as a book for nine year olds and older I think some younger readers might find it quite frightening and disturbing.
I was biting my lip as I read, and there is a terribly sad moment too where I closed it completely and took a break before reading to the end. It might come as a surprise too since the start of the book is very rural and funny and charming, but it then becomes more sci-fi fantasy and action adventure. This is actually why I took one star off my rating, because it felt a little confused, and unpolished at times, which was a shame as it was an otherwise excellent read. The ending definitely allows for a sequel, and I enjoyed this so much I'd be sure to try anything else from this first time novelist.
I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag.
Further reading suggestion: Older readers might enjoy the thrilling The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and younger readers won't go wrong with the school-time adventures of the ever-popular Harry Potter in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J K Rowling.
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