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How to Fly with Broken Wings
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How to Fly with Broken Wings

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  153 Ratings  ·  51 Reviews
'If Finn Maison shouts jump you jump or you are dead.'

Twelve-year-old Willem has Aspergers Syndrome and two main aims in life: to fly and to make at least two friends of his own age. But all the other boys from the Beckham Estate do is make him jump off things. First his desk - and now the wall. As his toes teeter on the edge, Sasha Barton gives him a tiny little wink. Mig
Published March 3rd 2015 by Hodder Children's Books
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Claire - The Coffeeholic Bookworm
I swear, if I’m going to cry again, I hope I won’t look ugly, because seriously, I just had an ugly cry after reading this. This book is far from ugly though. How to Fly With Broken Wings is a beautiful story about Willem and his quest to find two new friends and be able to fly up in the sky.

Willem was a special child who lived with her grandmother on Beckham Estate. One of his teachers told him to make two new friends instead of doing math formulas. He found a friend in Sasha Barton, when she a
Elizabeth Moffat
Sep 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
When Alexia Casale (YA author, organiser of YA Shot and all round “good egg,”) asked me if I would like to interview Jane Elson as part of a blog tour for YA Shot, I jumped at the chance. Not only did I completely fall in love with Jane’s debut novel A Room Full Of Chocolate last year but I have had her second novel on my Kindle for a while now wondering when I was going to get round to reading it! I’m so glad I made time for it now as it was a heart-breaking and terrific read that cemented me a ...more
Dec 13, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley
Tender but toneless!

The Best part of this young person's book is the first 10 or 15 minutes of your reading time, the adorable book-cover- and the description of the story in the 'blurb' itself. The reader feels the warmth immediately -- but that's all we get.

Basically, Willem just wants to make friends --and Sasha shows him how!
Their friendship develops from a shared secret. They both wish to fly.

Finn is the class bully. (leader of the kids). Everyone does what 'Finn' says to do....

Felicia (Little Prairie Library)
I haven't read any middle grade in quite a while, so I am actually having a hard time deciding if this is a good book or not. I did really enjoy the story, and I thought it was quite interesting. It deals with Aspergers/autism, making unlikely friendships, and even gangs?! Really, there are gangs and rioting in this book. Heavy topics for a middle grade, I think, but I thought it was handled well. Where I'm not sure if this is good is the writing. Like I said, I haven't read any middle grade in ...more
Sifra (brilliant bookshelf)
Read this review at Brilliant Bookshelf

Netgalley provided me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review. The book cover and synopsis drew me in, but the story did not live up to it. I think it will be enjoyable for children, just not great.

I really liked that the main character had Aspergers Syndrome. I know quite a few people in real life with autism, yet I rarely come across book characters with the disorder, so this was refreshing in a way. Unfortunately, the topic wasn't addressed th
Kyra (Blog of a Bookaholic)
Aug 12, 2017 rated it really liked it

How to Fly with Broken Wings is a heartwarming middle-grade novel about a boy with Asperger's on a mission to find two friends and a girl who wants to fly. It's about love, friendship and forgiveness; it's about the strength of a community, the magic of kindness and the beauty of friendship.

At first, I wasn't sure about this novel but I can safely say that the more I read, the more it stole a piece of my heart. However, like I said, I didn't fall in love with this book from the start and I
Gabs {My Full Bookshelf Reviews}
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

It says a lot that only a few weeks after reading How to Fly With Broken Wings, I am having a hard time remembering a lot of details about this book. Actually, I had to look up two of the main character's names because I just couldn't remember them. Yep, it was one of those books.

The writing style was the first thing that caught my attention in a negative way. It's very flat, with simple sentences and little variation of sente
Feb 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
21 stars. This book something special. The voice of Willem who is set the rather simple yet complex homework of finding two friends is totally engaging, page turning and heartstopping. Sadly the adults, Staffie and Spitfire he encounters don't count as friends so he has to engage with his peers with humorous and heart wrenching consequences. The literal way Willem engages with the world is dealt with beautifully. I had to pause for breath halfway through after the riots in his home estate thinki ...more
Jul 25, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: uk-authors
Following on from A Room Full of Chocolate I was excited to read Jane Elson’s next book.

Willem is set extra homework by his teacher, to make 2 friends. His grandmother doesn’t count the teacher says. So after he breaks his leg at school (being forced to jump from a wall by a school bully) and Sasha comes to see him, he thinks there might be potential for the first friend there.

I have mixed feelings about this book, I liked the idea of the story as I did the idea of the characters but I never con
Anna Ruston
Oct 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
The start I didn't like but the ending was really amazing
Sep 10, 2017 rated it liked it
A Young Adult novel in the voices of two schoolkids living in a tower block in London during the 2011 riots, this story gives a convincing account of some of the horrors of contemporary urban adolescence, including the search for identity and belonging, gang culture, bullying, and deprivation of one kind and another. The principal interest for me, however, lies in the perceptions of one of the narrators, Willem, a boy with Asperger Syndrome, many of whose tics, interests, and ways of seeing remi ...more
Rachel Martin
Feb 13, 2017 rated it liked it
How to fly with broken wings covers lots of important issues for young readers - friendship, loyalty, consequences of choices, anti-social behaviour, family, fitting in and romance to name just a few.

It is also a quick/easy read, partly because the plot and characters are interesting; I was hooked right from the start and really wanted to know how it turned out.

However, there is a strange disconnect between the gritty portrayal of life on an inner city estate and some of the highly unrealistic p
Sofia Razmilovic
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mrs Evelyn M Weall
A magical story

This is a story told by someone who knows what having aspergas syndrome is like. It is told with real sympathy and understanding. It makes you laugh and cry. The author also understands the consequences of bullying and the need for sympathetic adults in the lives of children. It is a delightful story for adults and young people. Everyone should read it.
May 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a refreshing, unconventionally told, wildly imaginative and intriguing story. I liked the characters, the growth of their friendship and self belief. I was delighted that they achieved what I did not see how they could achieve, and the confidence of the storyteller that made that magic. But most of all I liked the voice of the narration. Deceptively simple, but so clever that the characters come flying off the page.
Nov 10, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017
2,5 stjerne
Mallory (toweroftomes)
Review originally published to my blog The Leaning Tower of Tomes: https://leaningtoweroftomes.wordpress...


The good:

The friendship. The story is about Willem, whose teacher gives him an assignment to make two friends his own age. He meets Sasha, a girl who feels terrible guilt about not helping Willem after he’s bullied by Finn and some other gang members to jump off a wall. Sasha becomes a loyal friend to Willem, and it was touching to see them protect and stand up for each other.

Mar 19, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

Posted originally

How to Fly With Broken Wings explores the life of Willem, a twelve year old boy with Asperger Syndrome who dreams of being able to fly. Willem takes things very literally and struggles to communicate with other people his age so when he is set the homework of making two friends his own age, we’re brought a moving portrayal of what life is really like for him. I enjoyed this story – it’s fun and cute and Willem is a quirky character who i
Dec 20, 2014 rated it liked it
This is a trimmed down version of my review, to view the full review visit The Book Ramble.

This book was provided by Hachette Children’s Books on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Willem wants to fly, but he doesn't want to jump. Finn Mason makes him jump constantly. On this day when he jumps he breaks his leg. And it inspires Sasha to comes and save him. Sasha also wants to fly, and together they will. The pair meets Magic Man, Archie, who tells them about his mother, an ATA pilot from
Joana Felício
May 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: wishlist, read-to-buy

I got this ebook from Netgalley in return of an honest review.

As usual when it comes to Netgalley titles, I took a sort of leap of faith with this book. I had never heard of the book or the author, and now that I read it I realise how sad that actually is and how determined I am to change that.
The first thing I noticed when I first started the book was how engaging it is. From the first sentence we do feel like we are
Willem has been given special homework – to make two ‘real friends’. But it’s difficult when he has difficulty communicating with people his own age and most of the boys he knows are engaged in an ongoing gang war. Sasha is angry with herself for playing along when Willem is being bullied. And Finn is just angry, angry at the situation he’s in, angry that he can’t seem to find a way out. When they meet Archie and his several forms of magic – cars, community, music and an old Spitfire plane – thi ...more
A Reader's Heaven
(I received a free copy of this book from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.)

Twelve-year-old Willem has Aspergers Syndrome and two main aims in life: to fly and to make at least two friends of his own age. But all the other boys from the Beckham Estate do is make him jump off things. First his desk - and now the wall. As his toes teeter on the edge, Sasha Barton gives him a tiny little wink. Might she become his friend?
Bullied by Finn and his gang the Beckham Estate Boyz, Willem has no
Feb 19, 2015 rated it it was ok
*This book was given to me for free by netgalley in return for an honest review, however this doesn't effect my opinion*

Now I didn't hate the book I just think that there were a lot of things wrong with the book. Though I am going to start with the positives.

I loved the characters, I thought they were all quite realistic and that she did a great job with portraying autism. Out of all the books I have read with autistic main characters, this captured the actuality of it best. I loved the first 14
Katrina Southern
I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

The thing about this book is that the cover and the blurb really made it sound like it would be an enjoyable read: a contemporary book covering issues such as bullying and mental health that will warm the heart. However I couldn't help but be disappointed by the content. To start with, the writing style was very basic, with next to no tone to it and it certainly came across as unedited. There were far too many r
Heather Lawson
Mar 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Originally posted here:
This is a heartbreaking story about a young boy with Aspergers Syndrome who just wants to make two friends to complete a homework assignment set by his Maths teacher. When he thinks he’s friends with the school’s biggest bully – who has personally tortured Willem on many occasions – Willem is sure that he will get lots of extra credit for turning an enemy into a friend.

But obviously things don’t run smoothly
Jan 18, 2015 rated it really liked it

I found it interesting that the book description begins with “Twelve-year-old Willem has Aspergers Syndrome ...” and yet there's absolutely no mention of Aspergers in the book. Rather, the reader is left to recognize Willem's difference from his classmates through his behavior and his first person narrative in How to Fly with Broken Wings. And, I'd rather that the writer of the blurb had kept it to herself that Willem has Aspergers. I know that I read the blurb when I first chose the book to re

Mar 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Carla Johnson-Hicks
The main character in this story is Willhem, a twelve year old with aspergers. He has two desires in life, to fly and to make at least 2 friends his own age (a homework assignment from his teacher) He is bullied by the boys in his neighbourhood and at school. They get him to jump off things. In the opening of the story he jumps off a wall at the school and ends up injured. Sasha becomes his first friend. She goes to the hospital to see him and sneaks him out because they want to put him in foste ...more
Beth Kemp
Mar 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this light-hearted MG story of friendship and fitting in, set on a troubled London estate. Willem, the 12 year old MC with Asperger's Syndrome is a fantastic character, as are Sasha and Finn the difficult kids he has to interact with. I also loved that Willem's Aspergers is not actually mentioned in the book itself - he is just how he is. Speaking as a teacher, I think this has potential as a KS2-3 class read, because it offers plenty to talk about, but it is also simply a good ...more
Julie Williams
Mar 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was an interesting book. It was told from the points of view of William who has Aspergers and Sasha who lives nearby. The community they live in has trouble with 2 rival gangs. One of the gang members is Finn who has been a friend of Sasha's since they were quite young. As they are growing up Sasha finds herself struggling with whether she still likes him or not especially with his tendency to bully and his gang affiliation. When Finn and his friends bully William into "flying" resulting in ...more
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