Monday, July 17, 2017

The Girl Who Could Fly, by Victoria Forester

Image result for the girl who could fly
The Girl Who Could Fly by Victoria Forester is about a 9-year-old girl named Piper McCloud who was born with a natural ability to float. Piper lives on a small farm with her ma and pa in a small town called Lowland County. Piper is sitting in a tree observing a robin's nest, when the mother robin pushes one of her babies out of the nest. But before hitting the ground, the baby bird starts to fly. Piper decides that she should learn how to fly too. She teaches herself how to fly by:
  1. Standing perfectly still. 
  2. Thinking “I’m as light as a cloud, as free as a bird. I’m part of the sky and I can fly.” And thinking that for a very long time, while thinking nothing else.

Piper's flying attracts the attention of Dr. Letitia Hellion, director of an institute called I.N.S.A.N.E., and she asks Piper if she would like to come to the institute. She says that at the institute, Piper will be protected from other people who would want to "get" at her, or hurt her in some way, because they may think she is dangerous. Piper and her parents agree, believing going to the Institute would be for Piper's own good.

Once at the site, Piper meets the 13 other residents, all with special "talents" like hers. For example, two of the residents, the Mustafa twins, can control the weather. Also, there's Lily Yakimoto, who is telekinetic. Another girl can control electricity, and there is a boy with X-ray vision. Eventually, she befriends Conrad who is extraordinarily smart. He has figured out how to time travel, and he is “15 times smarter than Einstein.” He claims to know the true nature of I.N.S.A.N.E., and if he's right, it isn't good.

Personally, this book reminds me of Harry Potter, kids being sent off to a special school and whatnot. So, readers and watchers of Harry Potter may like this book. Piper is a caring, stubborn girl who, once she sets her mind to do something, won't stop until she's achieved what she wants to do. This picturesque story will grab every ounce of your attention and will not let go until you've flipped the last page.


Daddy's afterthoughts:  I have not read this particular one, but Julia really likes it. This is yet another book with a plucky female heroine on a quest to find, resolve, or restore something; she seems to gravitate towards those. The notion of the school/institute for the special/different/gifted/touched seems to have manifested itself an awful lot in this past generation:  Harry Potter is perhaps the most obvious. (By the way, for an interesting look at books that may or may not have been literary/plot antecedents for Potter, and a host of ideas of other things to read/watch, check out this article.) But also the X-Men (which, to be fair, have their origin in the 1960s), aspects of the plots of various seasons of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (the books, not the slightly-better-than-so-so film), and a host of other books for readers in grades 3-8 featuring children who go to magical schools, supernatural schools, fairy tale schools, or princess schools.


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