"... the depiction of small-town dynamics, high-school breakups, crappy after-school jobs, and Myra's growing desire to break free from limited expectations is both fresh and relatable."
Vivian Evans IndieBound
"Mixing ecological facts and humor, Chandler does a brilliant job of creating a very real world..."
From the Publisher
"... the depiction of small-town dynamics, high-school breakups, crappy after-school jobs, and Myra's growing desire to break free from limited expectations is both fresh and relatable." — Horn Book, October 1, 2011
"The protagonist is a delightfully spunky teen whose witticisms will keep readers laughing, and her deeply felt connection to her family ... will leave them with watery eyes. Fans of Sarah Dessen will want to grab this one." — School Library Journal, January 2011
"Mixing ecological facts and humor, Chandler does a brilliant job of creating a very real world..." — IndieBound, Vivian Evans, the King's English, Salt Lake City, UT
Children's Literature - Veronica Bartles
Myra has always been steady and dependable. With four younger brothers and a pregnant older sister to worry about, Myra is the one her overworked parents turn to when they need a helping hand, and Myra has always been ready and willing to drop everything to take care of her family. But when her longtime boyfriend, Erik, dumps her, Myra begins to wonder if there might be more to life than this. Desperate to escape the sleepy town of Landon, Utah, Myra decides that she wants to win a scholarship for a summer science internship in the Galapagos Islands, even if it means competing against Erik. Suddenly, Myra is taking chances and making leaps, finding the courage to choose her own path, instead of thinking only about what other people want from her. Chandler gives us a captivating story of a girl learning to find her own way in the world, even when everyone else is counting on her to follow the paths they have set for her. Reviewer: Veronica Bartles
VOYA - Laura Woodruff
Seventeen-year-old Myra, aka "Doormat," holds everything together. She takes care of four younger brothers, helps her overworked parents, and does her boyfriend's homework while he runs track. Unappreciative Erik, handsome son of the town dentist, tells her he is breaking up because he needs "space." Her older sister, Melyssa, five months pregnant, returns home from college, forcing Myra out of their bedroom and into the unheated basement. Grieving and devastated, Myra operates on autopilot as she moves from one responsibility to the next. Then, graduate student Peter Tree appears in advanced placement biology to offer two high school seniors an eight-week trip to the Galapagos Islands to study plant and bird life. The catch is that candidates must take Saturday classes, complete a research proposal, and raise one thousand dollars, after which winners will be selected. Although Myra senses a chance to escape, she must be pushed into flying. This second novel by the author of acclaimed Wolves, Boys, and Other Things That Might Kill Me (Viking, 2010/VOYA June 2010) is a winner. As Myra navigates from one trauma to the next, we know she is a princess in a scullery maid's disguise. Her cast of supporting characters is equally entertaining: sniveling Erik, sarcastic Melyssa, rough and tumble siblings, and, of course, Prince Charming, incognito as a graduate student. Funny, sensitive, loyal and endearing, Myra is a heroine to remember. Reviewer: Laura Woodruff
VOYA - Sara Guan
Responsible Myra, easy-going Myra, content Myrathat is how everyone sees her before teen tragedy strikes, and suddenly, everything is too much. Suddenly, Myra wants to get out. This book is, perhaps, one of the best this reviewer has read because it takes a classic plotlinethat of metamorphosisand makes it original, new, and refreshing. Girls Don't Fly is a book about seeing a chance and grabbing it with both hands, about disappointment and love and new realizations. Not only is the plotline engaging, but the narration is as well. The changes wrought throughout the book can be seen clearly in how Myra speaks, not only to herself but also to her family. 5Q, 4P. Reviewer: Sara Guan, Teen Reviewer
Kept grounded by her overworked parents, her very pregnant sister and four rambunctious younger brothers, Myra yearns to stretch her wings, but when presented with an opportunity to travel to the Galapagos Islands, she is not sure she has the courage to fly so far from home.
Myra likes things clean and simple, so when she loses her boyfriend, her job and possibly her whole future in a matter of days, her first priority is to get everything back in place. But when Pete, an eccentric graduate student, lands in Myra's life, she finds that organization might be for the birds. Soon Myra is dressing up as a giant chicken, organizing a rescue for lost hunters and even delivering a baby. Suddenly, winning a scholarship to do research halfway around the world does not seem so out of reach. A familiar premise—girl realizes her boyfriend is a jerk and then meets someone infinitely better—is made fresh with quirky particulars. Readers will relate to Myra's simultaneous desire for life to be different and exciting and fear of change. Chapter titles defining avian terms provide a narrative framework.
A sweet story that will appeal to romantics and birders alike. (Fiction. 12 & up)
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—When she is unexpectedly dumped by Prince Charming, high school senior Myra takes chances she wouldn't have taken before. Intrigued by a scholarship contest to study plant and bird life in the Galápagos Islands, she has only a few months to write a research proposal and raise $1,000 to pay part of the cost of the trip. Could she really dance around outside the local fried chicken joint in a feathery costume? Then, Myra's college freshman sister shows up pregnant and becomes bedridden, one more responsibility to add to a list that includes her younger brothers and overworked parents. To make matters worse, she's competing against her ex for the trip to the Galápagos, but she begins to appreciate the mystery of local birds and to see who she is apart from her family and without Prince Charming. The protagonist is a delightfully spunky teen whose witticisms will keep readers laughing, and her deeply felt connection to her family and cool head in the midst of life-and-death crises will leave them with watery eyes. Fans of Sarah Dessen will want to grab this one.—Richelle Roth, Boone County Public Library, KY