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If I Just Had Two Wings
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If I Just Had Two Wings

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  314 ratings  ·  37 reviews
In her dreams, Phoebe twirls through rows of sea island cotton as a white dress blows around her knees like a breeze. As she dances, she loses all memory of being born a slave on an Alabama plantation. She lifts up her feet and flies high above the fields, as light as air. Before her a single white star shines.

Thirteen-year-old Phoebe has always dreamed of leaving her life
Paperback, 221 pages
Published April 1st 2002 by Fitzhenry & Whiteside (first published April 1st 2001)
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Average rating 4.21  · 
Rating details
 ·  314 ratings  ·  37 reviews

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Nov 15, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this when I was 10 and it first came out and I will always remember it. Before this book I absolutely hated reading, now I love reading and it started from this book. First book I read that I loved and I had no idea that reading could actually be enjoyable before it. 9 years later and I still love If I Just Had Two Wings:).
Feb 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The author writes that this is a story of fiction based on research but I feel as though the story is real. The thoughts, the dreams, the fears - it’s all real. This is my first time reading this novel at 29 yrs and I’m glad I found it. It brought me to tears at several points and I believe it perfectly depicts the struggles that people endured on the underground rail road to Canada. Highly recommend this to anyone that knows how to read. I wish I had found it sooner.
Mar 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
*Minor Spoilers*
I really liked this book. It was a nice story to read in class and to take a break from all the immensely popular novels out there. (I mean, obviously I still love popular, mainstream books, but just for a bit, it's interesting to read something...different, if that makes any sense)
This book was nice since it really showed you that dreaming does take you places, and helps you prepare and create the next day, the future. They help shape reality in many different forms. The main c
Lauren Jude
Apr 16, 2015 added it
Shelves: 2015-reads
I read this for school, and I honestly didn't really enjoy it that much. I found the pacing to be too slow, and the ending was just terrible. So many questions were left unanswered, it was like there was no point in reading the book at all. This story isn't really unique, and there was nothing different about this story. The writing wasn't very good, and extremely repetitive. Overall, I didn't enjoy this novel, although I can still see the touching story the author was trying to create. I will h ...more
Andreea Rotariu
Apr 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
I liked this book very much!!! It's really emotional and touching, I loved the characters and it really shows the pain that slaves had that time and the way they were punished. I loved it so much but to be honest the ending wasn't that good. What happened to the people they left behind? What happened to Phoebe and the others? I just didn't get the end and it still leaves me with lots of questions ...more
Jul 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
So hard to put down!
I love all the characters personality's. It was dreamy, but also realistic. I loved how the author wrote this book!
Emma Harris
Apr 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
I remember devouring this book as a third-grader. I read it for the Silver Maple Awards reading competition and probably finished it in only two or three days. Then I read it again, and again, and again. And then I moved schools, to a new school that didn't allow for me to sit in the library for hours after school or during recess, moving my way through the shelves. I chased down a copy of this book in my adult life, and have been bringing it with me from province to province for the last 4 year ...more
Bree Tabin
Mar 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book actually started my love of reading.
In Grade 6 at my elementary school we were assigned this book to read and do a classic "book report" on. I hated book reports. I hated reading. Why would a teacher ever make me read?
I picked up this book and read the first couple chapters one day in class and put off reading it for about two weeks. It was a Saturday when I realized that I had a middle of the book quiz on Monday and came to the realization that I really needed to start reading this bo
Farhana Faruq
Feb 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
My niece (11 years old) suggested I read it. This is about a runaway slave girl trying to make it to freedom. It's very well written and interesting. Highly recommend both young and old read it. ...more
Mar 07, 2015 rated it liked it
2.7 stars (weird rating... I know)
I read this book at school, and though it was a nice story, it got boring at times (especially in the beginning). It started getting a little more interesting when we got to part 2, but, I still didn't find myself loving the book. It was a nice story about the struggles of slaves during the civil war, but I think that the author could've done a lot more with the story. I also think that she could've added more to the end, instead of ending the book off where sh
Neill Smith
Jul 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing
When Liney finds that she is going to be sold to another plantation she makes a break for the Underground Railroad to Canada but is caught and punished. Phoebe's sister disappeared earlier and when Liney heals the two of them sneak off with Liney's two daughters and another slave from a neighbouring plantation. Music and conductors point the way north but it is a mighty struggle to keep on traveling. ...more
Maire Slater
Oct 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014-09
A young slave on a plantation in the south dreams of freedom and following the underground railroad. She finally escapes and makes a family with the people she runs with.

I loved this book. Of course, it was full of hard things - an almost too graphic picture of violence (for younger kids) when an escaped slave is brought back - but also so full of hope and love and, happily, a happy ending. Just such a wonderful, beautiful book.
Monica Lukudu
Feb 11, 2015 added it
Recommends it for: anyone who is open to any type of book
Recommended to Monica by: dunno
If I just Had Two Wings by Virginia Schwartz was a very good book. This was my second time reading it. I learned so much about slavery and the effects of it and dreams. Dreams seemed real important to get over to Canada. If you don't dream, you wont't be happy. It was and awesome book. I totally recommend reading this book. :D! ...more
Jun 01, 2016 marked it as to-read
What book could make the world a better place, if it was required reading? Here are some of their responses.

“Virginia Frances Schwartz gave me a lot of perspective as a child. It’s about a 13-year-old girl escaping the slave trade on the Underground Railroad, and growing up in a small (and very non-diverse) town. It taught me a lot that my school never thought to teach.”
Nov 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2
This is a book that shows how hard it was to be an African-American searching for freedom on the underground railroad. I loved this book for its passion and love. I also love how determined they were and just kept going and did not stop.
Ericka Shane
Feb 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
I thin that the way the story was planned was shockingly realistic and you feel how it's like to be a runaway slave trying to find freedom. You'll understand how difficult it was to escape and the determination of the slaves to flee from the plantation. Over all i think it was really good. ...more
Feb 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommended to adri by: Teacher
I think that this book really deserves a good 4-stars.
It is very well written and it has brought tears to my eyes.
it is a very good book and i really liked reading it, i couldn't put it down!
although, the ending could have been better.. i mean, what happened to Rachel?? ..
Charissa Martin
Nov 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
My 10 year old read this and asked me to read it after she had finished. Have read the Book of Negros and 12 Year Slave myself, the subject matter was not surprising. That said, I feel this is a good introduction to slavery for pre-teens. It's not very well written, but a good one for grade 5/6. ...more
Feb 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Oh my gosh. This book is amazing. I read it first when I was in grade five, and I've read it about three times since then (I am now 13).
It's definitely one of my favourite books!
May 31, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya-civ
Great for Civ or 8th. Good sense of plantation live and the challenges of traveling the Underground Railroad.
Jul 28, 2009 added it
the meaning of slavery songs gave slaves the way to freedom
 Imani ♥ ☮
This was a really good book. I loved it as soon as I flipped the first page. The only thing I wish was that there was a sequel.
Mar 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is a amazing book my English class just finished reading it it's kind a cliff hanger :) ...more
Jun 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
Read this as a pre-teen and loved it! Read it many times over and still love it.
Mar 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
I read this when I was about 10. It taught me a lot, to say the least.
Apr 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is simply a fantastic book. Full of heart, and an amazing story. I also found it really fascinating and shocking what happened in the underground railroad.
Katherine Lemay
Jun 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
First book to make me cry
Jul 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
a beautiful and heart tangling story of a girl's dream and journey to be free. ...more
Mar 02, 2014 rated it liked it
Great novel,
Had to read it for school, it's so enjoyable
I couldn't put it down literally my hands were glued to it.
I suggest it's 10 star book because I cried 6 lit tiers of wata,
Read it!
Sep 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: heroine, ya, travel, slavery, family
Engaging story. A bit before then mainly focuses on the running north, the help and obstacles of 5 slaves.
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