'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Sunday 14 June 2015

Review: Fly Away

Lucy's family is a musical one. Her father loves opera. Her mother is a fan of Langhorne Slim. Her sister Grace sings like an angel. Even her brother Teddy, not yet two and not speaking words, can singalong in perfect harmony — although only Lucy knows that; it's their secret. But Lucy, well, Lucy can't sing a note. So where does she fit in?

These are the thoughts that occupy Lucy as she and her family drive to visit their Aunt Frankie. It's the rainy season and Frankie's property is sure to flood; the family need to be there to help her. Sure enough, they arrive just before the bridge goes underwater. Soon, the floodwaters are climbing up the hill towards Frankie's house.

By morning, the rain has stopped, but the river has become an ocean and is now lapping at the verandah. The shed has been swept away. And Becky the cow has decided that the house might be safer than being in the barn with the other cows.

And then Teddy goes missing. With all the floodwater around, he needs to be found quickly. But how will they locate him? After all, he doesn't speak. He won't call out. Perhaps it's time for Lucy to find her voice.

This is a beautifully written story of one girl finding her place in the world. Patricia MacLachlan is a Newbery Medal winner and adept at evoking character in sparse, simple prose. Fly Away isn't necessarily an easy read for young kids, as it explores fairly deep themes of identity, self-belief and belonging, but it would be a great book to read with a parent or teacher.

Title: Fly Away
Author: Patricia MacLachlan
Publisher: Simon & Schuster, $9.99 RRP
Publication Date: June 2015
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781442460096
For ages: 7+
Type: Junior Fiction