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The Wall and the Wing

(Wall and the Wing #1)

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  1,149 ratings  ·  132 reviews
A few, nicknamed leadfeet, are forced to forever spend their lives closer to the ground. But one night, a girl named Gurl--a leadfoot, an orphan, a nobody--discovers that she can do something much better than fly.

She can become invisible.

Along with a new friend, a boy named Bug, Gurl begins a quest that takes her on a wild ride through the magical city, all the way to the
Paperback, 327 pages
Published May 22nd 2007 by Eos (first published March 1st 2006)
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Average rating 4.07  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,149 ratings  ·  132 reviews

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Mar 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
After reading the first eleven pages of "The Chapter Before the First," I told friends that it read like Diana Wynne Jones writing a New York City version of Neverwhere with Douglas Adams sneaking in occasional asides when she wasn't looking.

Having now completely the novel, I can state categorically for the record that my initial impression was 110% correct, and if that doesn't make you want to read this book, I don't know how to help you. I suggest you offer to do favors for Satan in exchange f
Jun 07, 2009 rated it it was ok
This was a pretty cute tale about "Gurl" who discovers that she has a strange magical power. Adventure ensues.

I enjoyed the quick read however it was not one of those young adult books that is as well-liked by adults. It was a simple story with rather simple morals. Good for reading on the plane, which is what I did.
Donna D
May 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I've been really into rereading books lately. I read this when I was younger and decided to read it again. It is just such a fun and quirky book about an invisible girl and some weird rat creatures. I can't describe it but I would definitely recommend it.
Apr 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
AMAZING! My 8 year old sister was given this book for her birthday and only just picked it up- she read 80-100 pages a day and finished it in a few days, we could hardly get her attention till she was done! I made the mistake of picking it up to scan the first few pages and see why she was so addicted and ended up egging her on to read to the end so I could steal it and finish the story (I'm 19!). The characters are brilliant, the story is set in a world like ours but with magic, monsters, psych ...more
Sep 29, 2017 rated it liked it
The Wall and the Wing is about Gurl and her friend Bug. When Gurl sneaks out one night to get food, she finds a cat and brings it back to the orphanage. One day Bug comes along one day and they don't get along, but Bug likes the cat. Once the woman who runs the orphanage finds about Gurl's powers she uses them for bad, and a gang is looking for her as well for similar reasons. Gurl has to find her true identity, escape the grasps of theives, and solve a few mysteries along the way.

I enjoyed the
Nathaniel Wyckoff
Mar 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
This novel was great fun. It features an intricate, sometimes riveting, storyline and a host of hilarious characters and situations. At times, it had me literally laughing out loud. From start to finish, Laura Ruby manages to keep the reader engaged, entertained and thinking.

The story is set in an alternate world, in which most human beings can fly. Most people are lousy at flying, a few are expert enough to do so as professional athletes, and a small number cannot fly at all. Those who cannot
Sep 26, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fantasy lovers.
Recommended to Fallen*63 by: My friend.
This book is about a girl named... well... Gurl. She lives at Hope House for the Helpless and the Hopeless Orphanage. She has no friends, and Digger is constantly picking on her. Everything stays the same, until one night, at the back of Luigi's, a cat decides to choose her as her owner. She has to keep the cat hidden from everyone else at Hope House. Also, everyone there can fly, except Gurl. She can turn invisible, though. A new boy comes to Hope House, named Bug. Together they sneak out from ...more
mary ❀
Dec 23, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes fantasy
4.5 stars.

The moment I read the summary for this book, I knew that I had to read it. I don't believe I've ever read a summary quite that interesting. I didn't get that into the book until I kept reading. The more I read, the more I loved the book. This book isn't quite like anything I've ever read before. The author sure knows how to capture your attention.

What I loved most about this book was probably the characters. I loved Girl and Bug. I also thought the pacing that their friendship evolved
Mar 29, 2009 rated it liked it
For me, it was on of those stories that I only liked after I read the ending. My bet is that it was a lot more fun to write than it would be for any one else to read. Harsh opinion? ...Maybe.

The world here is one wherein people fly around. No wings, no magic dust, just ... people flying. Why? You won't know until the end, and it wasn't until that point that I became amused, but maybe only because it was so cleverly tongue-in-cheek.

As far as kids books goes, it's entertaining. There's very little
Apr 22, 2014 rated it liked it
I was really hoping for a bit more from this book. It never really managed to measure up to my expectations. I thought it was an okay read, but from some of the reviews I'd read I guess I was hoping for something more along the lines of Harry Potter. Silly, I know, but a girl can dream ;p.

It took me a lot longer to finish this book than I planned, which was quite unfortunate. I never really connected with the characters, but I did like how everything was so deftly interwoven with the plot. Ther
King Haddock
Aug 29, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, books-i-own
This is a wild, wacky book in which cats are riddles, mechanical monkeys steal peoples' memories, and all people can fly. Well, all but one... the Wall, an orphaned girl profoundly named "Gurl" who can turn invisible. The book is extremely abstract, with a great sense of humor. True, it is predictable, and characters can be annoying (like Bug), but overall I find it a fun, quick read. I know it sounds really weird by my brief description of it, but it somehow works out.
Mar 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was one of my favorite childhood books. I probably read it three times when i was younger (although the sequel disappointed me a bit. It was okay, but it definitely didn’t live up to the first book). the imagery of this book was really stunning, and I found myself trapped in this whimsical world. Definitely a read for all ages! I’m going to have to reread it soon...
Apr 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I first read this book when I was probably 10 and I loved it. I've also read this book at the age of 18 and I still love it. It's definitely a middle school aged book, but I think anyone who likes whimsical fantasy with slightly dark undertones will love it.
Dec 18, 2009 rated it really liked it
this book was so interesting!
I liked the part when the enemies son helped gurl escape from his father's dark little box and helped her get food.
Feb 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
This whimsical tale was a joy to read. The story is complex and quirky. Well-written characters and original ideas make this a fun read.
Sep 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
In this book kittens are OP, what more do you need to know :3
elisa ady
Jan 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
this is the book that first made me want to write––like really, write.
Evelyn Erb Bognar
Sep 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I read this aloud to my nine-year-old daughter and she was captivated!! It is full of magic and interesting and relatable characters. We obtained a copy of this book from a local school that was thinning out their library. I think that this book and the following book are out of print. If so, It is such a shame. I saw the second book in the series on Audible and we intend to listen to it. We loved this book!!!
A sweet story that will satisfy your craving for slightly whimsical-satirical-sarcastic (hilarious) books that are also completely age-appropriate.

I was a bit hesitant to pick this book up, as I'd previously read Lily's Ghosts by this same author and not liked it much. It drew me in, despite having many tired cliches (girl-doesn't-know-who-she-is, unlucky-orphan, boy-can-do-special-things-but-doesn't-know-how-or-why, (view spoiler)
Jul 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a well-crafted dystopian novel for middle school readers. I thoroughly enjoyed the imagery and dark humor.
I remember this as being such a fun and enjoyable read from my late primary school days.
Jo Dunn
Sep 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
An orphanage, a 'mad' scientist, a 'gifted' cat, a wickedly witchy warden with a penchant for cosmetic surgery . . what's not to like? Entertaining. 4/5*
A childhood favourite of mine! I fell in love with its delightfully quirky writing, uniquely imperfect characters and a brilliantly original story. Highly recommend!
Jul 12, 2019 rated it liked it
This was a good book, but I wish it didn't end with the "daughter of the richest man" plot. It would have been just as good with "daughter of a loving couple."
Jul 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book makes me feel like a kid again in the very, very best way. Such a special book. I've never read another like it! God bless Laura Ruby!
Sep 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The author of Lily's Ghosts brings us a book so funny that it hurts, set in a magical world so weird that it can only be New York City. She doesn't come right out and name it, though. She describes it as "a vast and sparkling city, a city at the center of the universe." But it's also a city that has grown upward because the natural moat around it prevents it from spreading outward; a city with skyscrapers, subways, a Little Italy, a Chinatown, a Radio City Music Hall, a Times Square, and a B ...more
Jun 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Book review: The Wall and the Wing

We all have wanted to fly or be invisible at some point in our lives. The Wall and the Wing is a little world one can escape into where anything is possible. A weird, wacky world where people can fly without wings or fairy dust, and monkeys can tell you secrets.
The Wall and the Wing introduces the reader to one of the two main characters, Gurl. Bug, the second main character is introduced about a quarter of the way into the book. Gurl is a plain, pale, orphaned
Penny lurkykitty
I listened to the audio CD version of this book in the car with my six year old. The Wall and the Wing takes place in a magical version of New York City in which people can fly, cats are rare, and a child is born every 100 years who can become invisible. The story focuses on two children in an orphanage Bug and Gurl, who are on their own in the world (or so they think). The story is fun and magical with lots of creative details and action. It was met with repeated requests of "Can we listen to G ...more
Aug 30, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: didn-t-finish
I hate having to DNF this book. I hate doing it especially since everyone else seems to love it. I didn't enjoy it at all. It is about a girl named "Gurl" She's one of the leedfeets, because she can't fly. I don't even understand what the point of this book is.
Oct 31, 2014 rated it it was ok
Gurl is an orphan living in Hope House for the Homeless and Hopeless, with no talent at all for flying and no friends. That is, until she stumbles across a cat. She falls in love, but the headmistress uses that love to force Gurl to steal expensive items for her. And then there's Bug, the somewhat helpful, somewhat annoying boy who insists the cat actually belongs to him, since he found it in the hall after it had escaped Gurl's room. But the headmistress is not the only one who wants to exploit ...more
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Raised in the wilds of suburban New Jersey, Laura Ruby now lives in Chicago with her family. Her short fiction for adults has appeared in various literary magazines, including Other Voices, The Florida Review, Sycamore Review and Nimrod. A collection of these stories, I'M NOT JULIA ROBERTS, was published by Warner Books in January 2007. Called "hilarious and heart-wrenching" by People and "a knowi ...more

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Wall and the Wing (2 books)
  • The Chaos King (Wall and the Wing, #2)

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“What a dumb accident a family was. Some people got lucky, some not so lucky, and some people got the booby prize.” 2 likes
“A word about Hope House: there are places in the world where so many desperate people have lived and so many bad things have happened that the places themselves have become desperately bad. They're damp and weird and smell like foot fungus. The windows are never clean, and the linoleum curls up at the edges because it can't stand the floor. Every corner is sprayed with cobwebs and quivering shadows. When you walk into those bad places, you can feel a headache brewing between your eyebrows, a churning in your gut, a cold prickle at the back of your neck. You feel sad and angry and helpless, all at the same time. These bad places seem to hate you but, they also seem to want to keep you there very very much. 0 likes
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