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Growing Wings

3.74  ·  Rating Details ·  606 Ratings  ·  78 Reviews
Eleven-year-old Linnet is growing wings. Auburn wings, with soft feathers. For a while, she can hide them, but they grow larger and larger, almost seeming to take on a life of their own-while taking away Linnet's old life. Her mother, Sarah, knows what it feels like . . . almost. For when the young Sarah began to grow wings, her mother-Linnet's grandmother-cut them off. Sa ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published September 16th 2002 by Firebird (first published August 28th 2000)
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Aug 26, 2007 Lauren rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: the winged at heart
When I was a child, I was obsessed with the idea of people with wings (come to think of it, I still am). Not angels, just normal people with wings. I'd always search for books with such a thing in mind; I'd get really excited if I found a book with a winged person on the cover. I'd read it frantically, waiting for the bit where the wings burst forth, only to be dissapointed by metaphorical wings (you know, "woo I'm emancipated from slavery! I'm free! So I have wings of liberty!" etc.)

This book
Eleven-year-old Linnet is growing wings from her shoulder blades. She is shocked, but her mother Sarah expected it; after all, she began to grow wings at about the same age -- but her mother cut them off. Linnet and Sarah don't know what to do, but Linnet stumbles into a community of people like her, who live in a secluded place in the mountains, under the threat of exposure. I thought the premise was unusual and interesting, but it wasn't developed enough to really grab me. It's probably meant ...more
Nicole Romine
May 25, 2011 Nicole Romine rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, ya
"Growing Wings" is a young adult fantasy with a very intriguing plot about a young woman growing wings. Unfortunately, the plot developed at a painfully slow pace. In fact, just as the story became interesting, the novel abruptly ended. "Growing Wings" felt like a good short story that was tortured into becoming a young adult novel. In the Kindle version, there are multiple grammar and spelling errors. Given the problems with the plot, these errors made it even more difficult to immerse myself i ...more
Jun 22, 2015 Meredith rated it it was amazing
I LOVED this book as a young teen. For some reason, it really resonated with me when I was going through puberty and also realizing I was pretty dang different from other kids. I mean, I definitely don't have wings, obviously, but wouldn't that be cool?
Anyway, if you're pubescent, I highly recommend this book. I haven't read it since, but it's stuck with me for years (I'm 25 now, so at least 12 or 13 years), and I just really recommend at least giving it a try.
Dec 16, 2016 Mayyah added it
I read this book years and years ago, when I was....10-11 and didn't understand most of what I was reading, emotionally. I remember it being very sad, and the cover haunted me ever since, which is how I found it again. I don't know if I'll ever re-read it
Dec 19, 2008 Alexis rated it liked it
11-year-old Linnet doesn't know why her shoulder blades itch, or why her mother sneaks into her room every night to lay a hand on them. One night her mother gasps, and the truth comes out: Linnet is growing wings.

This is a trait passed from parent to child. Linnet's own mother - Sarah - had started growing wings at the onset of puberty, but her own story is terrible one. After attempts to bind them didn't work, Sarah's mother cut them off, as her own mother had done to her.

At first they try to h
Jennifer Wardrip
Apr 18, 2010 Jennifer Wardrip rated it really liked it
Reviewed by Holly Owen for

Forget about the awkward stages of puberty. At age eleven, Linnet is going through something no other human has ever experienced - she's growing wings. And on top of that, her mother reveals a secret she's hidden from Linnet all her life - a set of scars on her shoulder blades from the wings that had been brutally cut from her back by her own mother. So maybe Linnet isn't the only one, after all.

Masking her blossoming wings with her long hair and loose-
Julie Decker
Aug 19, 2014 Julie Decker rated it it was ok
When Linnet mysteriously starts growing wings at age eleven, her mother finds out and explains that in their family, that happens sometimes. She had them herself until Linnet's grandma cut them off. Because her mother felt some longing and loss over losing her wings, she knew she could never do that to her daughter if she had the same condition, but it's also making it impossible for her to fit into normal society anymore, so when she can no longer hide her wings, Linnet goes to a community for ...more
Sarah Crawford
Feb 11, 2016 Sarah Crawford rated it it was ok
The story enters around a number of people, almost all younger, who have wings. None of them are actually capable of flying, at least at first, and there are those whose wings were cut off or otherwise damaged by their parents or other relatives.

They take refuge in a house in the woods where those who still have the ability to fly can try learning how to manage to do that. Some noisy reporters complicate matters, and later two of the people end up lost in the woods and get rescued by a helicopte
Apr 02, 2014 JoLee rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult, 2006

Featured in a "Connections" post on Intellectual Recreation.

Laurel Winter's Growing Wings is similar to The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender, except for a middle-grade audience. When eleven-year-old Linnet begins to grow feathery wings, secrets about Linnet's family are revealed. Like, The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender, Growing Wings involves several generations of women in Linnet's family. I read this book several years ago, and it's one that has stuck with me over
May 12, 2009 Victoria rated it really liked it
A simple but beautifully done coming-of-age tale.

Linnet is horrified when one day her wings begin to grow. Her mother's reaction is almost worse. When it is revealed that wings are a part of their family (her mother had them too), Linnet isn't sure what the future will be like. To help Linnet come to terms with what she is, her grandmother, the one who cut her mother's wings years ago, will take her to a special place. A retreat, a hiding place, for people with wings.

There, Linnet will find a ne
Bark's Book Nonsense
Growing Wings is a very good young adult fantasy about an eleven year old girl whose world is turned upside down when she starts growing wings. Before long she finds herself abandoned by her mother with a grandmother she doesn't know at all. Grandma dumps her off at a sanctuary where Linnett finds there are others just like herself who live sheltered from the media who would exploit their kind.

As Linnett learns to adjust to her new surroundings and attempts to fit in with the assorted group of w
Emily White
Feb 07, 2014 Emily White rated it it was ok
This was a bit of an odd read. Admittedly I picked this book up because of the cover art, which I found intriguing (never judge a book by its cover works both ways, apparently). The story is about a pre-teen girl who starts growing wings on her back. Her mother is forced to tell her the secret family history regarding wing growth, and the pair head off in search of…some kind of answer. The girl winds up meeting her grandmother who takes her to a home for people with wings. The book seems to be m ...more
Kelsie Beaudoin (The Bookworm)
Growing Wings caters to a young audience by being simplistic, but not childish. The children, the adults, all are written beautifully, but believably. It is the difference between characters and characterization.

There is very little in the way of romance, which makes sense. Linnet is 11. She doesn’t need some insane YA love triangle! Instead, a strong mother-daughter relationship pulls the book forward. Laurel Winter explores relationships though several mother-daughter teams as she examines how
Jul 02, 2009 Wendy rated it really liked it
This is an enjoyable story about a young girl, Linnet, who suddenly starts to sprout wings. She finds out that her mother also had wings when she was young, but they had been cut off by her mother, making her a 'cutwing'. When the Linnet begins to quesiton her mother it is more than her mother can take and she takes Linnet on a journey that ends up at a hideaway in the mountains where other winged people, as well as other cutwings, are living in seclusion. Here Linnet explores her newly grown wi ...more
Sung Kim
Aug 09, 2016 Sung Kim rated it really liked it
This book gave reminded me how being different is not such a bad thing during the summer. It would have been quite weird to notify others that someone has wings growing on his or her back. However, this book tells in the end that there more people who have growing wings in other parts of the world. There was no reason to be locked up in a house all day to hide their wings from others. The presence of a network also emphasizes how growing wings is not something to fear about. I decided that alth ...more
Sep 02, 2013 Taylor rated it really liked it
Growing Wings isn't some metaphoric title. This book is really about Linnet's unexpected experience when wings begin to sprout from her back. This book is rally an example that stories can be written about anything, and that they are out there. As kids, we always have a fascination with flight and often imagine flying ourselves...what we would do, where we would go... And while the protagonist is not alone in the experience, the experience itself is still mysterious. You'll just have to read it ...more
This was a really quick read, and was pretty decent. The descriptions were really nice, and the characters were pretty good, but it is definitely written for a younger audience. I was just hoping for something that had more too it, but it was a pretty light book with a few sort of scary parts, that I could see a younger person getting excited about. I really enjoyed the concept of the book, and have often wished I could have my own wings, but I prefer Amelia Atwater-Rhodes winged story concepts ...more
Jan 08, 2013 Maggie rated it it was amazing
This review comes a little bit late-- actually, it comes almost a decade late, considering how young I was when I read it. This was one of those books that was my chicken soup. I read the library's copy, but I hated giving it back and habitually checked it out. It's not an adventure story, it's not highbrow literature-- but it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside, even though I am now very, very, far removed from the book's target audience.

Seriously. Maybe not my favorite childhood book, but
S.N. Arly
Although marketed as a children's or young adult book, Growing Wings shouldn't be limited by this classification. Anyone who has ever felt other, outcast, or even just a little different, will relate to Linnet and her struggles once she begins to grow wings.

Laurel Winter has drawn very believable characters with genuine strengths, weaknesses, and emotions. The circumstances are unusual, wondrous, and a bit frightening in their uncertainty.

If you have ever dreamed of the fantastic, you will enjoy
Courtney Johnson
Jan 18, 2016 Courtney Johnson rated it liked it
This was an easy book to read. it was written very simply. It was an interesting idea, but I couldn't picture it throughout the whole book. The main idea started off being where a girl with wings fits in this world. That thought was deeply overshadowed by flying. It seemed the whole end was about them being happy because there was a world out there where they could fly. I wish it would have talked more about the network they found at the end. It seemed to come out of nowhere. I don't think I wil ...more
Tamara Eaker
Feb 03, 2013 Tamara Eaker rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This book was one of my very first fantasy novels, and also one of the first few books I picked up myself. It took a lot for me to be interested in books, for I just had no desire to spend that much time reading. Growing wings starts out with a mystery that kept me engaged all the way through. I would recommend this book to any youth who like fantasy and have experience with being a bit of an outcast. 5 stars, for a great read at 15!
Jul 11, 2008 Emily rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: middle schoolers
Recommended to Emily by: Kim, my best female buddy
A decent book, it illustrates the confusion of how things would be if and when people began growing wings. There were parts in the book that made me want to cry and parts of the book that made me want to throw up, but it was still worth reading. It ended awkwardly and left me feeling empty - as if there should have been more to it. It was rather slow-moving and somewhat irritating, but it was a relatively decent book all the same.
Jul 24, 2008 Christ rated it it was amazing
this books is about andrea.. a girl who has itch is her back, and days later her mom tell her that she has wings... that will emerge from her back, her mother also used to have wings, but her mom cut it... so, because she have no wings anymore, she become jealous to her daughter.. so she decided to abandon her..
know.. andrea is on her own.. with wings on her back... she can't live in the neighbourhood..

so, how is andrea life after that??
Apr 28, 2014 Cheryl rated it really liked it
Picked up the book because I had read several of Winter's fantasy short stories and directed one of her plays. Growing Wings is a charming, appealing YA novel about a girl who feels abandoned by her mother, isolated from her world, and confused about the changes her body is experiencing. Doesn't that describe all young women? This is a perfect piece for moms and daughters to share because who doesn't want to fly?!
Janice (Janicu)
Jun 23, 2008 Janice (Janicu) rated it liked it
Young adult novel about an eleven year old girl who grows wings. She learns that her mother had wings too, but they were cut off by her grandmother. When she can hide her strangeness no more, she asks her mother to take her to her grandmother so she can learn more about her past and if there are more people like her. There are but they are all in hiding, afraid of what would happen if the world knew about their existence. A self acceptance story.
Powerful imagery, interesting characters, and a great story make for an enjoyable read despite the uneven pacing and cliffhanger ending. I always felt like there should be a sequel (the author certainly left it open for one, and the themes and characters have great potential that could have been developed in a second book), but apparently there isn't.
Aug 25, 2008 Swankivy rated it it was ok
Happened to see this on the sale table at work and read it while standing at the desk, 'cause so kill me I like books about flying people. Surprise! It was kind of a weird book, strangely written and in some ways the continuity bothered me, but it was an interesting (though sort of goofy in the end) concept. Maybe that's why it's $1.97 on the sale table.
Bree Mclaren
Jun 17, 2013 Bree Mclaren rated it it was ok
No just no. The characters were shallow and the plot was not even climbing it was too safe, that's a good phrase for it. It almost seemed like the entire novel was a beginning to a larger story but there is no development and no climax it just tappers off and abruptly finishes when it was just getting good. I honestly wouldn't recommend it.
Aug 05, 2012 Alyssa rated it it was amazing
This is a book I got when I was 15 and I loved it. I have read and reread it many times. Even though the subject of growing wings is beyond the norm the simpleness in which it is approached is done well. The introduction of the child to growing up and learning about the world's mishaps is approached in a way that is tender and not vivid, as to be horrible.
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Laurel Winter (born Laurel Anne Hjelvik) is an author of fantasy, science fiction, and poetry. In childhood she attended a one-room schoolhouse. Her first published fantasy story was "Mail Order Eyes" in 1988. She has since won two Rhysling Awards and a World Fantasy Award for Best Novella. She has also written Young-adult fiction.
More about Laurel Winter...

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