Barbara's Reviews > Flyaway

Flyaway by Lucy Christopher
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's review
Oct 23, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: animals, ncbla
Read in October, 2011

Thirteen-year-old Isla and her father share a deep love for the swans that spend winter on the nearby lakes, chasing after them so they can tell where they have landed. But on one of their jaunts, her father becomes ill and is hospitalized. While visiting him, Isla meets Harry, who has leukemia and is waiting for a bone marrow transfusion. They bond over their shared interest in one swan that Harry can see from his window, a swan that became separated from the others and seems unsure how to fly. Isla is convinced that helping the swan rejoin its flock and sharing her school art project--a Leonardo Da Vinci-inspired flying machine made with a harness and real wings--will help her father recover.

This book is filled with beautiful language and description of the swan that has an almost mystical connection to Isla and the budding love between Isla and Harry as well as the often complicated familial bonds that keep some members close and others at a distance. While this book has a very different feel to it than the author's 2010 Stolen, Christopher clearly knows her way around relationships and has created complex characters in this book. I loved the scenes in which Isla runs as fast as she can, flapping her wings and coaxing the swan to do the same.
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Beth Schencker I also loved the beautiful images of nature that Lucy Christopher provides. And I agree, one of the best parts of the books e when Isla makes that magical connection with the baby swan. Imagining her running along the lake flapping her wings, while the swan is doing the same is incredibly inspiring. This serves as a parallel to the encouragement she is giving to her father, as well as her new friend Harry.

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