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Fly on the Wall

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  156 ratings  ·  70 reviews
In Fly on the Wall, a moving and hilarious illustrated novel from the critically-acclaimed author of Pie in the Sky , a twelve-year-old boy goes on a (forbidden) solo journey halfway around the world to prove his independence to his overprotective family.

Henry Khoo's family treats him like a baby. He's not allowed to go anywhere without his sister/chaperone/bodyguard. H
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published September 15th 2020 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
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Average rating 4.10  · 
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 ·  156 ratings  ·  70 reviews

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May 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Loved this one. I, also, had my friend's 12 year old daughter read this. She read it in one night. Could not put it down and immediately wanted every book from Remy Lai!
Has the helicopter parent ever gotten its due? Which is to say, where is the great American children’s novel that picks apart helicopter parenting, examining it from every angle, explaining it, maybe even forgiving it a little, but still ultimately finding fault? I dunno, but I’ve got this Australian import over here that does the job just as well. I’m not sure if you’ve ever made the acquaintance of Remy Lai. If not, you’re in for a treat. Last year Lai wrote Pie in the Sky, an illustrated nove ...more
CW (The Quiet Pond) ✨
I don't know how Remy Lai does it, but she's done it again. Like her debut, Pie in the Sky is a heartfelt and sensitive story about family, how families express love differently, independence, and friendship. Wow!

- Follows Henry Khoo, whose family treats him like a baby. To prove them all wrong, Henry follows through with his secret plot to show them all that he's 'changed' and not a baby: fly, all on his own, to visit his dad in Singapore.
- This book is formatted like a diary, and I really en
Aug 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Full review to come but this was another quick, amazing and entertaining read from Remy Lai (who is also amazing btw!) and you all should get on it! (This book isn't just for kids, you'll see parts of yourself and your childhood in any one of the characters – get to it!)
Henry Khoo has a helicopter family. His mother, older sister anime and his Popo surround him and manage him constantly, to he extent that he feels stifled and frustrated. Henry also isn’t great at dealing with people, and has one friend Phoebe, with whom he’s kind of on the outs with, because she’s been drawing away from him for months. And,….Henry also has a blog where he spreads rumours about people at school. He started the blog because he was lonely and angry with Phoebe saying something not ...more
Mar 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
You loved Remy Lai’s first book ‘Pie in the sky’, didn’t you?

This time, we have a Tiger-Mum, an over the top sister and a Shifu Granny named Popo. Henry can’t do anything without his family involving themselves. Clothes, meals, even vowel movements are monitored by his family.

Henry is a baby!

But, how can a 13 year old Singaporean-Australian boy change the situation? What would happen in one of Popo’s tv shows? Simple: an adventure!

Missing his dog (named ‘Meowmi’= cat, it’s a long story), carr
Jul 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thank you to Edelweiss+ and the publisher for an eARC of this book.

I truly enjoy books by Remy Lai. They are funny, entertaining, and with many excellent illustrations they are great books to help with the transition to longer middle grade books.

In this story, Henry is tired of being babied by his family. He decides that he's going to take an international flight from Australia to Singapore to spend the school break with his dad, and without anyone knowing what he's doing. While setting off on t
Sep 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
(Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

Told in dairy style, Fly on the Wall is a charming and endearing middle grade about friendships and independence. Henry is tired of being treated like a baby in his family. You know what will show them all? If he takes a trip to his dad in Singapore by himself. But what starts off as an ambitious, but straightforward plan, ends up taking Henry on a journey of friendship and growth. T
I received an ARC through NetGalley from Henry Holt & Company. Twelve-year-old Henry is treated like a baby by his helicopter family and to take on this issue he decides to board a plane to Singapore to visit his dad. Henry is also the writer/illustrator of a blog that comically illustrated his school mates from his perspective as the “fly on the wall.” This independent and personal flight for Henry to visit his dad helps him to learn about himself and his place in the world amongst his family, ...more
Jul 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Fly on the Wall is about a 12 year old boy, Henry Khoo, who like any other middle schooler, wants to fit in and have friends. His family can be a little over protective, okay, maybe A LOT, and he just wants to be independent and not treated like a BABY anymore. Henry goes on a special quest to prove he doesn’t need to be baby-ed.

I really liked all of the comics that were integrated throughout the book. I think many kids will relate with Henry and how he feels navigating friendships and feeling
Mar 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Liz Friend
Feb 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
The story: Henry Khoo is tired of being babied by his family and invisible at school--so he secretly starts the “Fly on the Wall” cartoon blog, which spreads gossip about his schoolmates. Right now, he's currently on his way to the airport for an unauthorized trip to see his dad in a foreign country. On the way, he must deal with a former best friend, a lurking nemesis, a seatmate who could double as an encyclopedia, and a comment from the unknown “Frog in the Well”, threatening that Frog is goi ...more
Hope Hunter
Jul 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Henry Khoo is odd - and he knows it. He is okay with it because he has his “sworn sibling” BFF Phoebe and is content with her friendship. Usually in the summer, Henry visits his dad in Singapore, but one summer he is home and is awkwardly invited to Phoebe’s birthday party, which he generally misses due to his visits out of the country. The party was horrible for Henry, he was uncomfortable and did not fit in, and was devastated to learn that Phoebe had other friends. Henry tries to fit in with ...more
Sep 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Henry flies from Australia to Singapore to visit his dad every break. But when his big sister needs to stay home to focus on university applications, that means Henry can't go either. But Henry's sick and tired of always being treated like a baby! And he's twelve--the age kids can fly solo. So he hatches a plan.

Yep, he buys a plane ticket with his mom's credit card, sneaks his passport out of the house, and heads to the airport. He's arranged his former best friend to cover for him with his over
Ms. Yingling
Mar 31, 2020 rated it liked it
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

Henry feels like his family is much too overprotective. He is also hiding a secret from his best friend Phoebe, so when his trip to go to Singapore to spend time with his father is canceled, he feels a need to leave Australia. To prove that he's not a baby, he manages to get himself on a flight, which the help of Phoebe, who manages to hide his whereabouts from his older sister, who is supposed to be keeping tabs on him. Told in a mixture of pictures and text, we
Sep 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-books
The author of Pie in the Sky returns with the story of a twelve-year-old who wants to prove his maturity to his helicopter family. Henry’s family monitors what he is doing all the time, packing his backpack for him, making sure he has eaten, and hovering all the time. But Henry knows he can do a lot more than they think. That’s how he came up with a very exact plan to prove his independence: he will fly from where he lives in Australia to Singapore where his father lives. He’s also running from ...more
Ms. Arca
Apr 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Oh Henry! What a cutie and a solid MC. He wants independence but his family shows their love by smothering and worrying about him— helicopter child rearing rep is here!

This text has tons of great features that would be fun to work through/ introduce with students. Lots of writing in Mandarin Chinese (YAY I LOVED LOVED THIS!!) And references fo wuxias and text convos and Henry’s comics as well. So many pieces this is quite a feat to create and complete. Also there are relatable family dynamics a
Oct 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Fly On The Wall by Remy Lai
I loved this book about young Henry Khoo. He feels invisible, like nobody even notices him except his overprotective mother and grandmother. Even his older sister treats him like a baby. Determined to change that, he hatches a plan to sneak away to see his father...except his father lives on a different continent!
Henry must work hard to keep his nosy family from discovering his plan and overcome his own fears about growing up and finding his independence. He makes som
Jasmine Smith
Apr 12, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: giveaways
I received an ARC of this book through a Goodreads Giveaway.

Fly on the Wall follows twelve-year-old Henry Khoo, who, having grown tired of his family’s helicopter-style care as well as a major argument with his former best friend, decides to prove how adult he is by taking a solo-flight from Australia to Singapore to see his father. The book is Henry’s notebook, filled with his narration of the events currently transpiring as well as all that led to his adventure. The reader gets the story thro
Jun 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a fantastic read for middle grade readers. Henry is 12, and is babied by his family. He longs to have friends and to fit in, but it seems every time he tries his family swoops in and overprotects him. Henry plans an elaborate adventure, which involves the help of his former BFF, Pheeb. Told in a mixture of words and illustration, this book will appease both lovers of graphic novels and written word.

Henry's adventure takes him on a journey of self-discovery. He discovers new friends, and
Aug 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
He’s made the trip each summer before, but this time flying to Singapore will be the “greatest adventure everrr” because Henry Khoo is planning on going solo! Remy Lai’s fantastic sophomore graphic novel/prose hybrid novel, FLY ON THE WALL (9/15/20), follows the perfectly flawed and hilarious twelve-year old as he sets out to prove to his family that he doesn’t need to be relentlessly coddled any longer. Henry’s got it all figured out down to the minute and readers will feel the anticipation wit ...more
Wendy Garland
Apr 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020, middle-grade
I received an ARC of Fly on the Wall through NetGalley.

Henry has a helicopter family. Everyone hovers over him and he doesn't have any room to make decisions, speak up, or be himself (if he could ever have some space to figure that out). Everyone always tells him what to do and how to do it until he plans the revenge of a lifetime. Henry plans to fly to Singapore to visit his father. Alone.

While you have to suspend reality to make some of the scenarios possible, what reads as total truth is Hen
Abby Johnson
Calling all Wimpy Kid fans! Remy Lai's latest highly illustrated novel is right up your alley! Henry is sick and tired of his family babying him. They are so overprotective that he can barely do anything without someone hovering over him. And this summer when it's announced that the family has decided to forgo their annual trip to Singapore to spend the summer with Henry's dad, he takes matters into his own hands and concocts a plan to get to Singapore by himself.

Of course, plans do not always
Tina Athaide
Apr 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
My students that fell in love with Remy Lai's previous book, Pie, are in for a treat with her newest book.

Fly on the Wall introduces readers to Henry Khoo. Tired of his overprotective family and feeling invisible at school, Henry starts the Fly on the Wall cartoon blog, which spreads rumors about his classmates. When his trip to visit his father is canceled, Henry take the opportunity to prove to his family that he isn't a baby. With the help of his friend Phoebe, he leaves Australia and flies
May 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
After falling out with his best and only friend, Henry Koo is on a journey to make big changes. He decides that the best way to get his family to stop treating him as a baby, the root of all his problems, is to take a trip halfway around the world secretly and all by himself… if only the hunt for the anonymous school gossip cartoonist didn’t keep haunting him all along the way. Full of hilarious pitfalls, this part prose and part comics is a fun but thoughtful story.

This was a really enjoyable r
I received an electronic ARC from Macmillan Children's Publishing Group through NetGalley.
Lai has created another delightful middle school character. Henry is frustrated that his family constantly babies him. He's disappointed that they aren't going to Singapore over break to see his dad so he decides to fly alone from Perth. He hopes to prove that he can be independent and his mother, sister and grandmother will stop hovering. This works but not without some serious misadventures along the way.
Oct 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Henry Khoo is 12 years old and he is tired of being treated like a baby by his family. He lives in Australia with his grandmother, Popo, his mother and older sister, Jie, while his dad works in Singapore. When the family’s annual summer trip to Singapore is cancelled, Henry decides that he will travel there by himself to prove he does not need to be babied any longer. Henry is also running away from his anonymous comic strip blog, The Fly On the Wall, that he has used to make fun of his classmat ...more
Amber Webb
Apr 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Remy Lai did not disappoint with Fly on the Wall. For any child or adult who has ever felt "meh" and wasn't quite sure where they fit in, this book is for you. This book was perfect for kids who have helicopter parents and kids who don't. I love the variety of family structures represented in the book as well as the diversity of children.
Henry Khoo desperately wants to prove himself to his family, his friends and even his not anymore friends. He has been trying to figure out where he fits at sc
Kristin Crouch
Apr 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to the author for sharing a review copy with Collabookation.
I flew (wink, wink) through this one in one sitting. I love Remy Lai's artwork, but even more than her artwork, I love how she conveys the complicated emotions of 8-12 year olds. Henry is the baby of the family, but he's ready to become more independent. He wants to be taken seriously, so he decides to show his family how independent he can be by flying to see his Singapore.
Along the way, Henry finds himself reflec
Jan 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
Meet Henry, a kid who craves independence from his helicoptering Mom and sister. (He’s referred as a helipad 🤣). He plans a grand adventure to visit his father, overseas and, in the process, learns different points of views about things that happened and it gives him a new perspective. He navigates old and new friendships as well as family relationships. And, Henry Incorporates lessons and stories from his beloved grandmother’s (po po) wuxia stories for help guide his journey. The picture and po ...more
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