Max Turner is a tom boy through and through. Her favorite activities include hunting, fishing, playing sports, and running around with her neighbors Peter and Kyle. But, when Max meets some girls at the local trampoline park she gets introduced to a whole new world. With her dad's encouragement Max finds herself in a place she never imagined she would be: an all star cheer gym. TNT Force is one of the best cheer gyms in North Texas, and between the glitter, massive hair bows, and over the top dance moves Max is sure she has no place in the gym. But, as she soon learns, she has skills that even top cheerleaders work years to develop. Will Max tough it out and give cheer a chance, or will she ignore her natural talent to stay in her comfort zone?
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Learning To Fly based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
If the Bring It On movie series was a middle-grade novel, Learning To Fly is it! The book is middle grade and I'm not really reading a lot of middle grade books lately, I usually read young adult. The book won't actually feel it's middle grade, I just realized it was when I learned the main character's age was mentioned in the book. Reading this actually made me look back on how I was when I was twelve years old. Was I insecure but driven like Max? Was I struggling this hard to make friends? Was I proud and show off-ish? Was I hard to convince in doing new things? The answer to all of those is yes! This reminded me on how I was trying new things and the struggle to do them as a kid. This is the reason why parents should read what their kids are reading! I don't have children, but I personally think that this book would connect so much to kids as much as it connects to parents and adults. Max tells so much about her insecurities and struggles that a parent might want to look at their kids in a new light. Max's dad is such a good example of a parent: loving, supportive, disciplinarian, and so many more. This is such a good way to understand kids in general. The story and the flow of it is very nicely done. I love how there are moments that matter later on in the story. I love how diverse and real the characters are. I love the description of the cheer leading world and how the author introduced it to the reader. While reading this, I was actually imagining this as a movie, that's why it reminded me so much of the cheerleading movie series, Bring It On. You know, minus the teenage drama (but there are some of it in this book). I just wish I could watch the cheer routines that Max and her squad had done. But I have to admit, I'm glad that was omitted because I can only imagine how hard it is to describe a routine. The best part about this book is the messages and lessons that the author wants to reach the readers. I won't say those messages and lessons because I want you guys to discover them because it won't be worth it when you read it. Now for the low parts of the book. I really wanted to give this book a five-star review but I found some stuff that I think is a bit off. I am not a cheerleader. I danced and I have a small knowledge about cheering. There are some parts when the characters describe a cheering move I just cannot grasp very well. I read the phrase or sentence again and again but I cannot imagine it. So if the readers are same as me with less to no knowledge about cheering, they might not understand them too. Another thing, Peter and Kyle. They were mentioned in the book description as Max's friends and really expected them to have a bigger role in the book. I get it that they are not part in most of Max's activities but I think they have more potential as characters. In general, I love the book very much! I would definitely recommend this book to my kid self. I think that means a lot because it means this book would be a great basis on how I can cope with the struggles of being a kid. I also would definitely recommend this to parents and their kids (especially if the kids are athletes). I enjoyed reading this book I would like to thank the author for giving me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Congratulations Dana Burkey for a very compelling and driven book!
Learning to Fly by Dana Burkey is a feel-good 'tween read about stepping out of your comfort zone and seeing what life has to offer. Main character, Maxine, is 12 years old, but she's quick to tell everyone that she is turning 13 in a couple months. She is also quick to correct anyone who calls her Maxine instead of Max. She is a very athletic, very competitive tomboy. Her mom died six years prior, and Max and her dad are slowly healing by bonding over shared activities like hunting, fishing, etc. Max's best friends are boys, so when she approaches some girls practicing slick moves on the park trampoline, Max is surprised by how much she likes these girls and their gymnastics. One of the most delightful aspects of Learning to Fly is that there is no high drama with mean girls. There are a couple girls who take a while to warm up to Max, but this story is about Max taking a giant leap even though she is afraid of falling. With the support of her new and old friends, Max learns to fly (figuratively and literally). I was also charmed by the excellent familial relationships. The 'tweens and teens were not left to their own devices to figure out life; they weren't pansies, but the kids in the story looked for age-appropriate guidance from their parents as well as love and support. Max's dad is incredibly supportive and patient. He is a smooth operator when it comes to knowing when to apply a little pressure, offer a bribe or a pat on the back to motivate Max. Learning to Fly is a wonderful, positive story that I found to be uplifting and heart-warming. It's perfect for all ages.