The Girl Who Could Fly

The Girl Who Could Fly

4.5 435
by Victoria Forester

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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. See more details below

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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.

Editorial Reviews

KLIATT - Ashleigh Larsen
Piper McCloud comes from a household that does what they do because doing otherwise would break tradition—they don't handle change well. When her conservative parents realize that Piper has the ability to fly, they forbid her to do it since it's just not their way of living. It's not quite so easy for Piper to give up flying, however. Once her "gift" goes public, news crews from around the world camp out in her family's fields in the Low Country. When a government agency comes to take Piper away, saying that they help all sorts of children with exceptional gifts, Piper does not realize that she will be attending a place that has harsher punishments than her parents could ever enforce—and she still isn't allowed to fly. It is in this underground clinic that Piper determines to find the truth, while helping the others, and herself, escape the evils that entrap them. This novel is an unforgettable story that will challenge many adolescents in their quest to decide between right and wrong, good and evil. The bravery and courage of Piper McCloud will give confidence to anyone, no matter how extraordinary or ordinary their gifts may be. Reviewer: Ashleigh Larsen
School Library Journal

Gr 5-8

Somewhere in the U.S., in a small farming community called Lowland County, a girl named Piper McCloud is born to a simple, God-fearing farmer and his wife. Piper has a special talent: she can fly. What follows is an uneasy mix of fantasy and science fiction that has plot points that are fairly derivative. When her talent for flying is discovered, a charismatic director of a special school takes Piper under her wing. She arrives at an amazing place with multiple floors and discovers a lot of other kids with extraordinary powers, too-as well as a nefarious plot to remove their special talents by altering their DNA. Character development is achieved by the author telling, not showing, readers, and speech patterns are not always successful. Piper's rural, colloquial manner of speech seems out of place in a time period that appears to be present day and borders on caricature, especially when she utters phrases such as, "Well, butter my butt and call me a biscuit!" The writing style is clunky, and the author strives to be clever with wordplay. For example, the evil director of the school is named Dr. Letitia Hellion, and the German professor, whose accent is almost unintelligible, is named Dr. Mumbley. The acronym for the school, or institute, is I.N.S.A.N.E. (Institute of Normalcy, Stability, and NonExceptionality). The book ends with the kids taking over the school, and the affirmation of everyone's differences, and everyone's right to "be themselves." Libraries looking for engaging fantasy will want to look elsewhere.-Jennifer Ralston, Harford County Public Library, Belcamp, MD

Kirkus Reviews
With homespun charm, Forester focuses on the extraordinary Piper McCloud, daughter of an elderly couple who worry that revealing her gift of flight will put her in danger-with good reason. After Piper's first attempt to play baseball at a Fourth of July celebration results in a spectacular exhibit of her unique talent, Letitia Hellion's helicopter and black sedans show up to whisk her to a special school. At I.N.S.A.N.E., the Institute of Normalcy, Stability And Non Exceptionality, Letitia introduces Piper to classmates with equally unusual talents. The facility harbors many secrets, some unpleasant, many horrifying and none more unusual than genius Conrad Harrington III, rejected son of a powerful politician. Plucky Piper faces nearly insurmountable odds and must keep her innate sense of right and wrong focused through her trials. This fantasy has an air of reality, maintained by the aw-shucks flavor of the dialogue and its determined, good-as-gold heroine. Hints of a sequel appear after the tidy ending of this X-Men-like superhero take on the world. (Fantasy. 9-12)
The Twilight Saga Stephenie Meyer

It's the oddest/sweetest mix of Little House on the Prairie and X-Men. I was smiling the whole time (except for the part where I cried). I gave it to my mom, and I'm reading it to my kids--it's absolutely multigenerational. Prepare to have your heart warmed.
starred review Booklist

In this terrific debut novel, readers meet Piper McCloud, the late-in-life daughter of farmers...The story soars, just like Piper, with enough loop-de-loops to keep kids uncertain about what will come next....Best of all are the book's strong, lightly wrapped messages about friendship and authenticity and the difference between doing well and doing good.
The Horn Book Review

Forester's disparate settings (down-home farm and futuristic ice-bunker institute) are unified by the rock-solid point of view and unpretentious diction… any child who has felt different will take strength from Piper's fight to be herself against the tide of family, church, and society.

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Product Details

Square Fish
Publication date:
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.50(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Piper decided to jump of the roof. It wasn’t a rash decision on her part.
This was her plan—climb to the top of the roof and pick up speed by running from one end all the way to the other.
Jump off. Finally, and most importantly, don’t fall.
She didn’t make plans in the event that she did fall, because if you jump off the roof of your house and land on your head, you really don’t need any plans from that point on. Even Piper knew that.
So that’s what she did. She jumped clean off her roof.
But before we get to what happens next, you’ll probably need to know a thing or two about a thing or two. . . .

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