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Feather Boy by Nicky Singer
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Feather Boy

by Nicky Singer

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Robert is the lowest on his class totem pole, and when he's involved in a school project involving elderly people in a home he finds that the woman he's paired with wants him to solve the mystery of the derelict Chance House, legend has it that a boy died falling from an upper window, will Robert manage to get to the truth, will he find enough courage to do what he must?

Along the way he finds what it means to be him.

I liked it, enjoyable story, and Robert was an interesting narrator. ( )
  wyvernfriend | May 19, 2016 |
Bullying
  RMSALibrary | Nov 24, 2014 |
I loved this book!

I picked up _Feather Boy_ based on a discussion had during a Children's Literature class regarding censorship, where FB was used as an example of a book that was questioned for publication in the U.S. It angered me then and it angers me now, because the scene in question (the "Grape Incident") is such a small portion of the book! Singer has written an engaging tale weaving together myth, elder/child relationships, fr-enemies, and self-discovery. She created a thoroughly creepy atmosphere, but imbued her characters with such realism and soul, that I delayed finishing the story if only to dally in that world just a little bit longer.

Recommended for ages 10 and up. ( )
  Debra_Armbruster | Nov 16, 2014 |
Robert Nobel is the type of kid most of us were in school, not picked first for sports, dorky, but with a sense of humor. Feather Boy by Nicky Singer is Robert's story of coming of age. Robert's class is asked to participate in a project where they are paired with an old geezer, and must connect the past with the present. Robert is pair with a woman who tells him, "You look like a boy who could fly if he wanted to." He gets fairly obsessed with the Elders project.Told in first person, Feather Boy is a quick, uplifting read. If I had sat down and read this straight through, it probably would have taken me four hours. The only problem I had with this book was how British it was, not that being British is a bad thing, it just took me a few seconds to puzzle out that crisps were potato chips and chips are actually fries. Yes, so I am "daft." Anyways, I found this story being relatable as Robert is picked on by bullies, his parents are divorced and he's a shy, quiet kid who has courage within. I feel this story would connect the most with middle-grade readers, as the protagonist is 13. Who knows, maybe even reluctant male readers might enjoy this book. ( )
  booksandwine | Oct 7, 2010 |
Reason for Reading: I was immediately drawn to the story involving a derelict house and a mystery surrounding it. Then I noted the book had been published under the Essential Modern Classics list. This is a list of books chosen by the publisher's UK house and is a collection of outstanding books for children. From looking at the titles I'd say the age range varies anywhere from 8 to 15. Four new titles are to be published in 2010 under the Essential Modern Classics list and I think the authors chosen present a unique collection for North American readers to discover. I intend to be keeping up-to-date with ESM as well as digging into their backlist.

This is one of those rare and truly exceptional stories. A book that captures the heart and will live on in memory for ages. The story defies an age group, while not suitable for youngest children, it can be read and enjoyed by juveniles and adults with equal pleasure. There are both a young 13-year-old and a senior citizen character for readers to possibly choose one over the other to identify with, though the book is told from the 13-year old's point of view.

As part of the Essential Modern Classics series the book starts with an informative paragraph bio. of the author followed by a short essay entitled "Why You'll Love This Book" written by a famous author, in this case David Almond. This publisher's series also sometimes end with extra material at the back of the book, but this one does not.

Robert is the kid who gets picked last for sport teams, is teased relentlessly by the class smart alek and therefore everyone else, and has been nick-named Norbert by the other kids ever since he can remember. Robert joins the Elders' Project which involves working at the local senior's home and partnering with an Elder to create a visual that will sum up the group's experience of what they have learned about each other. Robert is more than surprised when a strange old lady suddenly calls out she doesn't want her partner, she wants him ... and is pointing directly at Robert. Thus begins a life and death relationship that will change who Robert is forever.

Robert is directed to a creepy old derelict house where rumour has it a boy about his age once jumped to his death from the top floor apartment thinking he could fly. Robert must race against time to figure out the mystery of the house and learn himself how to truly fly.

Heart-warming, funny, with characters who make you like or hate them, this is a beautifully written book. It is a coming of age story for Robert as he has a truly remarkable experience. It is a coming to terms with life story for the old lady, Mrs. Sorrel, as she finds a way to settle the anguish and self-punishment she has put herself through for the past forty years. Out of all this come life for one and death for the other, both good and wonderful things. This is an exceptional story which I am delighted to have read.

back-to-books.blogspot.com ( )
  ElizaJane | Jun 28, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0007120265, Paperback)

It is a rare author indeed who launches her first novel for young readers so conclusively into the "must-read books of the year" category. In Feather Boy, Nicky Singer traces a character-defining sequence of events in the life of a boy named Robert Nobel. He is often the butt of classroom jokes and pranks--and being called Norbert No-bottle all the time isn't much fun either. He secretly wants to be somebody. To have a voice. To have friends.

Robert's participation in the Elders Project changes his life forever. Selected members of his class are chosen to visit and interact with the elderly residents of Mayfield Rest Home--to find out about their lives and to "counter ignorant attitudes about such senior members of society." Robert's main attacker, classmate Jonathan Niker, considers the old people "vegetables," but Robert's own buried true-life personality is slowly unearthed by Edith--a prickly resident who singles him out. Edith is considered quite mad; she's haunted by the unhappy memories of her son's tragic death at her previous home, Chance House. As Edith's condition deteriorates and the Elders Project heads towards its conclusion, Robert is drawn deeper and deeper into her story. His visits to the derelict Chance House become more frequent, and one fateful trip to sleep there overnight as a dare with Niker heralds the first step on Robert's own journey in search of his real self.

Feather Boy is more than just a story about bullying. It's about finding your voice, shouting from the rooftops about something you believe in, refusing to back down, helping a friend, and never giving up. An enormously uplifting, accomplished, and satisfying novel. (Age 10 and older) --John McLay, Amazon.co.uk

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:35 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

Robert is the class victim, the guy who's never picked for the team. So no one is more surprised than Robert himself when a strange old lady sends him on a quest to solve the mystery of derelict Chance House. Legend has it that a boy once fell to his death from an upper window. But what has this past to do with Robert's future?… (more)

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