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Wings by Christopher Myers
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I had mixed feelings about this book after I read it. I did like the overall message that it sent readers, which is to embrace individuality and that each person has something to be proud of that makes them different from others. The wings of Ikarus was the aspect that made him different from others. I thought this was beneficial because it gives readers the choice to relate to it in any way they'd like. They can think of his wings as something like skin color, religion, or another trait that makes them different but important. This story expresses the overcoming of bullying and I think the author does such a good job in expressing this through the text.
I was hesitant to like the illustrations. I thought the drawings of Ikarus were almost frightening and even though it was supposed to show that Ikarus was different, I thought the illustrator could have given the main character more welcoming characteristics. It was very obvious that he was different than his classmates because he was drawn larger to scale. The darkness could signify the insecurities of Ikarus, but not all readers can easily make this connection. I found it kind of negative. I did like how the girl stood up for Ikarus and complimented his wings in the end because it only takes one person to turn another around. ( )
  ngwiaz1 | Nov 24, 2013 |
After reading "Wings" by: Christopher Myers, I came to the conclusion that this book was not only eye-opening, but a great way to open a classroom to breaking the social "norm". In the story, the main character has wings. He is different from the other children in class and it is made evident through the children's reactions to his differences. This is a book that any child can relate too. The "wings" are symbols for differences. Teachers can use this book to express the importance of embracing differences as strengths rather than allowing those around them to make them negative. Therefore, I feel that teachers can use this analogy to show students that may be struggling with differences, bullying or fitting in with their peers that being unique is nothing to look down upon. Differences should be embraced, not only by themselves, but by those around them. ( )
  NoahGray | Sep 24, 2013 |
"Wings" by Charles Myers is a multicultural, interesting story that could take many different interpretations.
I enjoyed this book because of the wings. I really liked the choice Myers made in what difference Icarus would have that made him unique compared to the other children. Instead of choosing a skin color, religion, or other trait that is typically different, he chose a fantastical trait. The decision for Icarus to have wings strengthened this book by widening its reader appeal. Many types of people could make connections to this story. I personally connected with Icarus and felt that his wings were like my own insecurities. If he had been different because of a specific skin color that didn't match my own exactly, I wouldn't have connected with this book at all. Myers made a smart, conscious choice to have Icarus's flaw be wings.

Another reason I liked this book was that it featured one little girl who stood up against the others in a bullying situation. It is very hard to go against the group and not give in to peer pressure, but one girl was able to do so and benefited greatly in the end. I enjoyed reading this book because despite all the criticism, there was still a brave soul to stand up and be a friend.

The main message of this book is tolerance and acceptance for others. People are different for all kinds of reasons, with no one person being the same as someone else. It is important to celebrate these differences instead of punish those who are not the same. ( )
  SamanthaThompson | Sep 24, 2013 |
In my opinion, Wings is a good book. One of the reasons I liked this book was because of the illustrations. The illustrations in the book are very abstract. On the cover photo, Ikarus is very simple and almost shadow like. The buildings show many different textures and patterns as well. I think that having the pictures abstract and different makes the story unique and unlike the rest, which makes it interesting. I also liked the book because of the characters. Ikarus is a boy who is different from the rest of the group, which causes him to be an outcast, and the narrator is a shy bystander who watches Ikarus get bullied. I think that these characters are very believable because everyone has been in both characters places at one point in their lives. Everyone has something about themselves that makes them feel different from their peers and everyone has seen someone be bullied because of their differences. The main idea of this story is to embrace your differences, and that everyone should be treated with respect regardless of their differences. ( )
  bstove1 | Sep 23, 2013 |
In my opinion, this was a good book. The first aspect of this book that I enjoyed was the illustrations that were portrayed through collage. I think that the collage aspect enhanced the story because it made the main character stand out and appear different from the other characters. For example, the wings on Ikarus, the main character, were a bright color that stood out on the page to emphasize his abnormality in comparison to the other characters. The second aspect of this book that I enjoyed was that it pushes children to think about a tough social issue. In particular, it forces the reader to consider what it is like to be bullied and how it can help someone to be accepted by just one person. For example, this was portrayed in the book when the narrator accepted Ikarus and they flew together. The main message of this book is that bullying is hurtful, but one person’s acceptance and ability to stand up to the bullies can help those who are in pain. ( )
  kharri34 | Sep 23, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0590033778, Hardcover)

Ikarus Jackson, a new boy on the block, surprises his neighbors one day by flying above the rooftops with his "long, strong, proud wings." People start to whisper, though, and soon those whispers turn to taunts, disdain, and finally even dismissal from school. One quiet girl, someone who knows loneliness herself, doesn't think the winged boy is strange. She runs through the streets, searching the clouds for her exiled schoolmate, only to find a policeman yelling at him to get down from the edge of a building where he perched with the pigeons: "Could the policeman / put him in jail for flying, / for being too different?" She musters her strength to tell the laughing onlookers to leave him alone, and she tells her new friend "what someone should have long ago"--that his flying is beautiful.

Christopher Myers, who illustrated the Coretta Scott King Honor Book Black Cat and the Caldecott Honor Book Harlem shines in this simple, lovely tribute to individualism, encouraging his young readers to dare to fly too close to the sun despite the warnings of the mythological Icarus. "Ikarus Jackson can fly through the air; I want kids to find their own set of wings and soar with him," says Myers. His masterful cut-paper collages capture the odd, crazy beauty of Ikarus's big white wings and the dizzying perspectives of a boy who is flying over rooftops. Urban landscapes are represented by cut photos of fencing, brownstones, and photo-booth portraits, while the sky in one spread is a sea of fuschia roses. Wings is a wonderfully expressive pairing of story and illustration. (Ages 6 and older) --Karin Snelson

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:49:35 -0400)

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Ikarus Jackson, the new boy in school, is outcast because he has wings. But his resilient spirit inspires one girl to speak up for him in this thought provoking story about celebrating individuality.

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