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This Kid Can Fly: It's About Ability (NOT Disability)

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  125 ratings  ·  39 reviews
"At once beautiful and heartbreaking, Aaron Philip found a way to make me laugh even as I choked up, found a way to bring on my empathy without ever allowing me to feel sorry for him. An eye-opening debut." —Jacqueline Woodson, National Book Award winner and Newbery Honor author of Brown Girl Dreaming

In this heartbreaking and ultimately uplifting memoir, Aaron Philip, a fo
ebook, 192 pages
Published February 16th 2016 by Balzer + Bray
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Average rating 3.92  · 
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Start your review of This Kid Can Fly: It's About Ability (NOT Disability)
Angela Blount
Dec 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Originally reviewed for YA Books Central:

“This Ability, Not Disability.”

Fourteen-year-old Aaron Philip was born on the Caribbean island of Antigua, but the lack of resources for combating his cerebral palsy resulted in a move to New York City—and his family spending years torn between two nations.

Written with loquacious simplicity, Aaron conveys a touching personal account of his numerous surgeries, therapies, and the extreme hardships endured by his fam
Jul 16, 2016 rated it did not like it
I was very excited to see this book come into my library and through reading it I gained some insight into what it's like having cerebral palsy, what it's like to navigate the world with a wheelchair and what it must be like to parent a child with different needs.

When reading the book, I did wonder how much Aaron wrote and how much his co-author wrote trying to write in his voice. I thought it was written by an adult trying to inhabit a younger voice which felt odd to me. At times it felt like r
Jul 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I think the book is so good I love it you should really get it plot read it
Molly Senour
Title: This Kid Can Fly
Author: Aaron Philips
Illustrator: n/a
Genre: Autobiography (3-5)
Theme(s): Disability and Ability, Family, Acceptance, Perseverance
Opening line/sentence: “So you’re probably wondering: Who is this kid writing his memoir?”
Brief Book Summary: This Kid Can Fly is an autobiography by a teenage boy who tells his story of his life with Cerebral Palsy. Aaron Philips writes about how he has been separated from his family, pushed into poverty, and excluded from the world around him b
May 19, 2016 rated it liked it
Aaron Philips and his family are from Antigua in the Caribbean. When his parents found out that he had cerebral palsy they had tough choices to make. These choices led his mother to bring him to New York in order to receive better care, and soon his mother and father switched places, with his father becoming his main caregiver. In his memoir Aaron outlines how hard it has been for him and his family physically, emotionally, socially, and financially. In addition to this though, He highlights all ...more
Sep 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
This Kid Can Fly
Aaron Philip
I would rate this book Young adult

Aaron Philip had found a way to keep confident and keep moving forward.Even thought it was hard in some places like his mother's work didn't have a elevator and she had to punch him up 10 flights of stairs.But they have kept positive and got their jobs done.It was kinda sad when in some ways you look at his shoes.I started to feel bad for Aaron because he kept on not caring about what ever any one thinks of him.So when Aaron went to
This is an easy-to-read book written with heart. My only problem was the use of CP, OT, and PT without the defining words to go along with the acronyms. I think that would be helpful for younger readers who are not familiar with those terms. Otherwise, the book was put together well and has an important story to tell.

Book Description:
"At once beautiful and heartbreaking, Aaron Philip found a way to make me laugh even as I choked up, found a way to bring on my empathy without ever allowing me to
Apr 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is a moving and inspirational memoir from a young teenager who has persevered through more than some people go through in a lifetime. His story is amazing, and his personality shines throughout his book. Aaron might have cerebral palsy, but he wants what nearly every person wants - friendships and relationships. This is a wonderful book for kids (and adults) to read with so many great takeaways for life particularly about overcoming obstacles, the power of support systems, and talking with ...more
Julie Suzanne
Very inspiring and disabilities awareness-raising book! Aaron Philip has serious mobility issues and portrays the real struggles he faces daily with honesty and humor. His memoir accomplishes two things: it destroys stereotypes one may have about people with physical disabilities, and it makes you much more understanding of the needs of people with disabilities (especially physical) and makes you want to go do something really helpful like donate money, advocate for accessibility improvements ev ...more
Alexa Hamilton
Apr 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, tween
This book is both optimistic and realistic about life with CP for one kid named Aaron, living in NYC. There are a lot of challenges but Aaron's family and excitement about life really help him live his life to the fullest. I read an ARC so would love to see the finished copy with all the photos. Also, I wonder if some of the acronyms like OT/PT that some might not be familiar with are better spelled out in the final copy. This book was written with Tonya Bolden, and it's quite well-written with ...more
Teresa Edmunds
Jun 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
When you really think about it, everyone has a disability of some kind. Some disabilities are just easier to see than others and can be harder to deal with. Aaron Philip shares his story of dealing with CP, poverty, and life in a new country. Just one of those challenges would be difficult. Aaron tells his story honestly but with hope. With a sister and mother who live with disabilities and depend on wheelchairs and assistance, I appreciated a book that tells of the challenges of this life, but ...more
Allison Renner
Mar 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
This middle grade autobiography is a great read for children, tweens, and teens. Aaron has cerebral palsy and is in a wheelchair. He shares his life, from immigrating to New York City with his mother, who then had to go back to Antigua to raise her younger son. Aaron’s father came to take care of him, so the family lives in two very different places, keeping in touch with Skype and occasional visits. Aaron started a Tumblr and found his own online community to help him as he deals with the stres ...more
Aug 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Wow. This book is amazing! Aaron Philip has many things - a loving family, an incredible support system, a great sense of humor, a positive outlook on life, a love of art and anime, oh yeah, and cerebral palsy. This is the story of his life so far. His parents came to the US to gain access to the healthcare Aaron needs but their journey has been long and extremely difficult. It has only been through the generosity and kindness of many individuals - Angels, Aaron calls them - that he has been abl ...more
Great Books
Feb 29, 2016 added it
Shelves: ages-12-14
Aaron Philip is a fourteen year old who has cerebral palsy but he does not let this prevent him from living a full life. In his memoir, Aaron tells the story of how part of his family came to America from Antigua so that he could receive better healthcare and educational opportunities. Aaron had some real struggles but tells how he was blessed with people who acted as angels in his life. This story will inspire youth with disabilities and bring awareness to nondisabled youth on the realities of ...more
Oct 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: paw
A memoir by 14 year old Aaron Philip, who shares am amazing story about his life growing up with cerebral palsy.

Aaron is an artist and self-published his first graphic novel, Tanda. His Tumblr blog Aaronverse has allowed him to share his experiences living in a wheelchair and helped give voices to those with disabilities.

The most moving aspect of this book was hearing about the mother and father who would go to any length and sacrifice anything to make sure Aaron got the care and services he n
Kristin Sierra
Jan 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Aaron Phillip will inspire anyone to follow their dreams no matter what their challenges. Readers' eyes are opened to what life is like for individuals with Cerebral Palsy and their families. But they will also read about the power of hope, love and an iron will to persevere and to "go for it" when opportunity knocks. It reads easy as if you were listening to his story as in a casual conversation, although he's very expressive and funny too! I recommend this book to anyone but especially someone ...more
Annalee Schnebele
Jan 31, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: srl, nonfiction
This was an empathy building book for me. Aaron does a great job educating readers on what a teenagers' life with a physical disability, like CP, might be like. And, Aaron is a great example of how, even if you're young, you can do impressive things (presenting at tumblr, making a movie and book, being an advocate for something you care about, etc).

The book reads like it has been written with a teenager - the voice sounds very authentic.

Aaron's feelings of being an outsider and his love of anime
Jun 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
An autobiography of a young boy named Aaron Philip who lives with Cerebral Palsy. His story is certainly one of love, courage, and much sacrifice - not only on his part but also on the part of his parents who set an example for us all with their never ending devotion to their son. I am so encouraged by Aaron's total focus on ability and what he can do, which is SO MUCH! He is going places for sure -
Erin Logan
Jul 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Aaron Philip tells his story of having Cerebral Palsy, moving to the US, and his family's undying love and devotion to help him have the best life possible. Reading this book can be an eye-opener for someone who doesn't quite understand how expensive and taxing a disability can be on a person and a family. I learned a lot from Aaron in this book and can't wait to put it in the hands of students on campus. This would be a great book to push when we do our diversity week and Mix It Up Lunch.
I am always complaining that I don't see the kids I know in books. Aaron, (pronounced AY-ron), who lives for anime, who seeks community on Tumblr, and who has an amazing vocabulary to go along with his fantastically resilient spirit, is just like the kids I know.

Thanks for writing this book, Aaron and Tonya!
Aug 28, 2016 added it
The narrator of this book is 14 years of age and he had cp (cerebral palsy).He over came his disability by going forward with his goals in life even though he had problems on his way of to completing his goals.His parents were supportive of his goals and did not let his disability interfere with his goals in life.
Aug 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
This is the memoir of Aaron Philip, a young man with cerebral palsy who lives in New York City. I was moved by his honesty about his condition as well as the poverty that his family has lived with and how that has affected him. It's reminded me to really look at people, to remember that we are all human, we all have hopes and dreams and stories.
Jun 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: student-books
I read this aloud to teens in a book club. It gives wonderful insight into the experience of life for a young person in a wheelchair. The author/artist is funny, vibrant, and honest. My students all rated it a 5/5 because they found it so enjoyable and also liked that Aaron, a teen with a disability, was able to write and publish his story.
Michele Knott
Apr 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
With so many biographies to choose from, I think it's great to have one about a kid - someone the reader may know or come across in their lives one day.
In this world of always getting ahead, this book about empathy and ability, is a good one to put in the hands of a middle grade student.
Pam Childress
Apr 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
When life gives you lemons, make lemon aid. People need to realize they live with a disability, the disability is not them. I believe this is something that has to happen from both the disabled individual and the others involved around them.
Suzanne Artis
Jan 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoirs
I will definitely purchase this for the library! Aaron was born with CP and shares his struggles and triumphs. Kudos to his family and I would love to hear more from him, as well as become one of his “Angels.”
Srinivas Nittala
Sep 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is really good especially if you're the one with a disability. This book is about a boy who got a disability and how hard he and his parents worked to make it into an ability. I missed one star because I personally felt that it was a little too emotional.
Mar 26, 2016 rated it liked it
Can't wait to here what's next for this charismatic, artistic and real author.
May 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
An inspirational read for middle schoolers-this biography shows that people with disabilities have many abilities to share and don't make excuses to not help themselves and others.
Oct 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Juvenile Biographies are the best, especially this kind--an empowered young person telling his story to empower other young people. Aaron Philip is someone to know about!
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