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The Girl Who Could Fly by Victoria Forester

The Girl Who Could Fly

by Victoria Forester

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Piper McCloud (1)

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1,0064313,147 (3.93)34
When homeschooled farm girl Piper McCloud reveals her ability to fly, she is quickly taken to a secret government facility to be trained with other exceptional children, but she soon realizes that something is very wrong and begins working with brilliant and wealthy Conrad to escape.

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» See also 34 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 44 (next | show all)
The narration style of this book took a bit of getting used to, and even at the end of the story I had trouble picturing the children as children, or at least as children as young as they were stated as being. Even so, this is a delightful book, and it explores how people are different from one another and how we can use those differences to either help or hurt the people around us. And it does this without being preachy, which is so very refreshing. ( )
  shadrachanki | Jun 8, 2018 |
Amazing book, great for young readers ( )
  BlitzCat9502 | Mar 11, 2017 |
Cliched, predictable, with too many exaggeratedly mean and/or stupid characters.  Almost a parody, almost a 'dark and stormy night.'  Not to mention, at least two of the covers are big spoilers, and the foreshadowing is awfully heavy.  While it's necessary to have uniforms, we like to honor each student's individuality by allowing them to choose their own material and color," Dr. Hellion pointed out....  Um, yeah, right.  I got 1/3 through, because it is after all a very quick read, and decided I couldn't bear to waste one more minute on it." ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 5, 2016 |
This review is also available on my blog, Read Till Dawn.

A few weeks ago, I saw in my Goodreads monthly releases e-mail that Victoria Forester has finally written a sequel to The Girl Who Could Fly, and that it's coming out late October. To say I'm excited about The Boy Who Knew Everything is an understatement - I've been waiting for this book since 2008. During the painful wait between now and October, I decided to review my long-time favorite The Girl Who Could Fly, thereby simultaneously spreading the word about a great MG book and having a valid excuse for re-reading an old favorite (instead of tackling my massive TBR pile, which I really need to start working on - I've never returned so many unread books to the library!).

What is it about The Girl Who Could Fly that has made me love it so much? For starters, there are the characters. I knew from the beginning that I couldn't help but love Piper McCloud, the homeschooled girl with a penchant for floating and a desperate desire for friendship. Back in 2008, having only been homeschooled for a few years, I could relate just a little too closely to Piper as she sat on a hidden perch and watched all of the kids her age stream off to school where they got to goof around and make friends. My situation wasn't quite as extreme as hers (my parents weren't actively separating me from my peers, and actually tried very hard to find friends for me), but that core loneliness struck a chord in me. Plus, I just plumb loved her bubbly determination to make the world a better place, even in the beginning she was a little too ditzy to actually figure things out. I also loved the kids at the school, but I can't talk about them much for fear of spoilers. Needless to say I became deeply attached to each and every one of them, and revisiting The Girl Who Could Fly is like revisiting old friends.

I also love the idea of the story. Who could resist a book about kids with special abilities, brought to a special academy for kids with abilities? It's like Camp Half Blood or the X-Men academy, but with a dark twist. A pretty disturbing twist. A twist that is actually way creepier now than I remember it being the first time around. I think maybe I just blanked out on some of it the first time. Because what some of the characters, both big and small, went through was just plain evil. And heartbreaking. And in the end, the anger and sorrow I feel about what has happened is amplified as I struggle with which it is that certain people deserve: the anger, or the sympathy. It's a deep book, much deeper than the flighty cover and the exciting synopsis make it out to be.

What I love about The Girl Who Could Fly, though, is that it's a deep book and a shallow book, all in one. It's got small-town rivalries and mean gossips and the push and pull of life in boarding school (not to mention the insanely cool talents all of the main characters have!), but then it's also got things that make you cringe and cry out and just plain cry. Every time I've read The Girl Who Could Fly, I've found new things to draw from it - this time, it got me mulling over the things that make people unique, and the fact that no one has the right to command others to change. When I was younger, the scene that struck me the most strongly was the one with the giraffe - which I won't spoil - and I came away with the idea that it takes only a little bit of kindness to light up someone's world.

So go. Read this book, and discover the wonderful world of Piper McCloud - I promise you won't be disappointed. And now you won't even have to wait five years to read the sequel! ( )
  Jaina_Rose | Mar 1, 2016 |
I'm older than the target audience for this middle grade novel, but I adore super-hero stories, so I felt compelled to pick it up. This book exceeded my expectations. It resonated with me on a lot of levels.

If Disney-Pixar ever makes a sequel to The Incredibles, I hope they base it on The Girl Who Could Fly. It would be a perfect fit. Piper McCloud loves to fly, but her parents and community want her to be normal. Other kids her age react to her flying power with hatred or shocked fear. Local and worldwide news media are obsessed with her. So when a beautiful government agent comes to take her away from the demanding media circus and her loving-but-not-understanding parents, Piper is thrilled by the prospect of meeting other people who have super-powers.

At first, it seems like the expensive, top-secret government facility hidden beneath the Arctic ice is a paradise for special kids. Piper meets ten other kids with unique super-powers, and makes her first friends--and an enemy whose super-power allows him to bully not only her other classmates, but the government officials who run the facility. But despite her fabulous new life, Piper begins to see hints of nightmarish torture beneath the surface of daily life at the facility. Nothing is as simple as it seems--not the easy classes, the nice teachers, the gourmet meals, the designer clothes, the atrium garden and zoo full of wonders. The students can't communicate with the world outside. Sometimes students vanish for weeks, then come back crippled and vapid. One of the students can't remember his super-power. Another seems to be going slowly insane.

As Piper discovers the true purpose of the facility, she must reevaluate her own goals and biases. Her sworn enemy might be trying to save her life instead of kill her. Her most trusted confident might be trying to destroy her. If Piper ever wants to see the sky again, she must fight for her freedom, and she can't do it alone. She must convince the other "special" kids that they have a right to use their powers even when it terrifies adults, even when it goes against everything they were taught to believe.

This was a gripping story suitable for all ages. I was happy to see a super-hero story with strong female characters; the girls had some of the best powers. All of these characters are unique and memorable. Victoria Forester plays with the reader's expectations, so the character you hate the most becomes endearing and complex by the end, and the character you trust the most turns out to be a monster. I particularly liked Conrad, the super-genius.

There's more than enough wonder, beauty, sincerity, and fun in this book to make up for its flaws. But it contains some writing problems that perhaps only a nitpicky writer or editor would pick on. For one thing, it's written in third person omniscient instead of third person limited, which adds a layer of distance between the reader and Piper. The story follows Piper as the main protagonist, but one of the most pivotal scenes was not shown in her point of view. Although Piper is a wonderfully cheerful and compassionate character, her qualities are over-emphasized at times, so that she becomes a bit of a caricature. Her regional dialect ("Yeehaw!") seems too over the top. And there is one plot inconsistency: Piper is severely punished for breaking rules that her classmates seem to get away with breaking on a regular basis. The reader never learns why she's treated this way. There is also a mysterious character named J and an unresolved plotline, so I assume there will be a sequel. I look forward to reading it.

Overall, this is a refreshing new take on the super-hero genre. It may be the most sincere portrayal of being "gifted" that I've ever read. In the X-Men universe, just about every mutant wants to wear spandex and become a soldier as soon as they gain their powers; in this novel, most of the kids aspire to use their powers for future careers. Instead of splitting into teams of good guys versus bad guys, their alliances shift, because they were all lonely in the normal world or rejected by their own families. On top of that, these super-kids must deal with the labels and expectations that normal people put on them. They have to fight a powerful enemy, but this novel goes much deeper than good versus bad.

I hope to read sequels, and more books by Victoria Forester.
http://abbygoldsmith.com/reviews/GirlCouldFly.html ( )
  Abby_Goldsmith | Feb 10, 2016 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Victoria Foresterprimary authorall editionscalculated
Chan, JasonCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best,

night and day, to make you everybody else

means to fight the hardest battle which any human

being can fight; and never stop fighting.

e e cummings
First words
Piper decided to jump off of the roof. It wasn't a rash decision on her part.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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AR 6.0, Pts 11
For a book that seems to promote accepting differences in others, I am not fond of the way the word "retard" is used in the book.
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Average: (3.93)
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