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StorySnoops Children's Book Reviews | Flyaway | Lucy Christopher
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by Lucy Christopher
LEXILE READING LEVEL: HL580L {what is this?}
PUBLISHER: Chicken House Publishing
NO. PAGES: 336
GENRE{S}: Realistic Fiction
ALA-ALSC Childrens Notable Book
Parents Choice Award
ISBN: 0545317711
READ & REVIEWED BY: Eden - StorySnoop

The Story
Flyaway—Book Review

Thirteen-year-old Isla and her father share a special bond. Every year they wait for the wild swan migration that arrives in their area just before winter starts. They get up before dawn to watch the magnificent birds as they arrive for the winter. But this winter, as they are beginning their annual ritual, Isla's father suffers a heart attack, and enters the hospital for an extended stay. Isla is understandably upset and scared. While she is in the hospital with her father, she meets a boy, Harry, who is awaiting a bone marrow transplant. Harry seems to be the only kid she knows who understands and appreciates her love of birds and the outdoors. Together they watch a lone swan on the lake outside Harry's window who is struggling to fly. Isla comes to believe that if she can help the injured swan to fly again, she will somehow be able to help her father, and maybe even Harry, be well again too. What she doesn't realize is that her actions will not only change their lives, but hers as well.
The Scoop
Flyaway—Book Review
{spoiler alert}

Flyaway is a heartwarming and lovely book that deals with family relationships, hope and friendship. Isla and her father have a special relationship that, in part, revolves around their mutual love of bird watching and swan migrations. Lucy takes some grief from classmates about her hobby, but Harry is the first boy who respects and understands it. They have a sweet relationship and share a first kiss. This story will appeal to animal lovers, particularly bird lovers, but sensitive readers should be aware that a small group of swans are involved in an accident with a power line and are killed. Both Isla's father and Harry spend the majority of the story in the hospital, and she worries about their medical conditions (heart trouble and leukemia, respectively). While both health story lines seem dire at times, they both end on hopeful and happy notes. Isla's family has a fractious relationship with her seemingly cantankerous grandfather, but Isla becomes a catalyst for positive change there as well.
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