The Art of Flying: A Novel

The Art of Flying: A Novel

by Judy Hoffman, Stephanie Graegin
     
 

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Fortuna Dalliance is practical. Rational. Clever. But when she finds herself at the doorstep of an adventure, she discovers something that has been inside her all along: the courage to step through.

The old Baldwin sisters are in trouble, and they've asked Fortuna to help them out of a fix. The sisters have accidentally turned a swallow into a boy,

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Overview

Fortuna Dalliance is practical. Rational. Clever. But when she finds herself at the doorstep of an adventure, she discovers something that has been inside her all along: the courage to step through.

The old Baldwin sisters are in trouble, and they've asked Fortuna to help them out of a fix. The sisters have accidentally turned a swallow into a boy, and he refuses to be turned back! But if Martin doesn't return to his original form within five days, he'll remain a boy forever . . . and the Baldwin sisters will have a lot to answer for. Fortuna's not sure she believes in magic, and once she's gotten to know Martin, she's not sure she wants him to be changed back. As Fortuna figures out what it truly means to be a friend, she must decide whose side she's on-before it's too late!

Judy Hoffman's debut, with delightful illustrations by Stephanie Graegin, weaves an enchanting tale of loyalty, freedom, and feathers.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
02/01/2014
Gr 4–6—In this debut fantasy, Hoffman spins a tale of transformation. Eleven-year-old Fortuna's presence has been requested by her mysterious and strange neighbors, the old Baldwin sisters. They have transformed a sparrow into a boy, now called Martin, and are trying to restore him to his former self. However, Martin has run away, and they only have five days to turn him back before the change becomes permanent. Fortuna is recruited to help find the missing child because she's the daughter of a bird scientist, and as a child, she still has the ability to believe in magic. As she sets out on her hunt, her friend Peter has his own adventure in the woods, including a puzzling boy with birdlike qualities. Could this be the missing Martin? Or are there two fowl-turned-kids roaming their neighborhood? And who is the threatening man lurking near Fortuna's house, and how is he connected to the girl's quest? Fortuna is a likeable protagonist and the witchy sisters are comical, and ever-so-slightly scary. The transformed characters retain certain bird mannerisms, which adds interest and mild humor. The plot resolves neatly and satisfactorily, making this novel an appealing choice for those who like their fantasy on a smaller scale.—Sue Giffard, Ethical Culture Fieldston School, New York City
Kirkus Reviews
Having accidentally transformed three birds into humans, sibling witches must coerce a practical girl to help them reverse the spell, but she proves an unreliable cohort. The Baldwin sisters keep a low profile in "poky old Wheatfield," where no one knows they are really witches. By turning an owl and two fledgling sparrows into a man and two boys, the sisters have breached the strict witch code forbidding human transformation and have five days to reverse the spell or the change becomes permanent. Worse, they then lose the ex-owl and one of the ex-sparrows. When the sisters lure 11-year-old Fortuna Dalliance to their suitably spooky house to see if she's got the right stuff to help them, she's terrified, but she's also been itching for excitement. Soon becoming attached to bird-boy Martin, Fortuna hides him so he'll remain human. Threatened by the local coven and aided by the bird community, the sisters are desperate to find the three missing bird-humans, but Fortuna can't decide what to do. Like the crones in Dahl's The Witches, the Baldwin sisters supply sinister humor, while conflicted heroine Fortuna must decide whether to let her friend fly free. Black-and-white spot art adds charm to this contemporary debut fantasy. Silly witches, transformed birds and a plucky heroine equal "real, live adventure." (Fantasy. 8-12)
From the Publisher
"Like the crones in Dahl's The Witches, the Baldwin sisters supply sinister humor, while conflicted heroine Fortuna must decide whether to let her friend fly free. Black-and-white spot art adds charm to this contemporary, debut fantasy. Silly witches, transformed birds and a plucky heroine equal 'real, live adventure.'"—Kirkus Reviews

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781423158158
Publisher:
Disney-Hyperion
Publication date:
10/29/2013
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Judy Hoffman has always been an avid reader and creator of tales. She especially loves stories combining magic and real life. Inspiration for The Art of Flying came from the view outside her many-windowed writing room. She and her husband run a reclaimed antique lumber business outside of Chicago, where they live with two teenage sons and two giant dogs. This is her first book. Visit Judy online at judyahoffman.com.

Stephanie Graegin studied fine arts at the Maryland Institute College of Art, and went on to attend Pratt Institute, where she received a Master of Fine Arts in Printmaking. She is the illustrator of Don't Feed the Boy, Water in the Park, and several other children's books. She lives in Brooklyn. Visit her at graegin.com.

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