Fly Away Hardcover – 1 May 2014
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About the Author
Patricia MacLachlan is the celebrated author of many timeless books for young readers, including Sarah, Plain and Tall, winner of the Newbery Medal. Her novels for young readers include Arthur, For the Very First Time; The Facts and Fictions of Minna Pratt; Skylark; Caleb s Story; More Perfect than the Moon; Grandfather s Dance; Word After Word After Word; Kindred Souls; and The Truth of Me; she is also the author of countless beloved picture books, a number of which she cowrote with her daughter, Emily.
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Grandma Frankie lives in a house in North Dakota, and her daughter, Maggie is worried about her --- it’s been raining for days and Maggie remembers the dangers of floods from her own childhood. Therefore, Maggie and her daughter, Lucy, go to visit Grandma Frankie --- even though she says she doesn’t need or want their help.
Lucy has a secret about her brother, Teddy, but nobody knows it. She also has a talent, but she doesn’t know it --- yet. Her experiences at Grandma Frankie’s teach her about the importance of secrets and how to discover her talents. Lucy also learns about the importance of family: “Family means offering help when it’s not asked for, accepting help when you think you don’t need it, sharing joys, keeping secrets, and singing your song."
Patricia MacLachlan is the author of many novels and picture books. Her book, SARAH, PLAIN AND TALL was a Newbery Medal award-winner. I have read of couple of MacLachlan’s books. Her stories always speak to the soul. This one was no exception. Her writing is powerful. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, even though I was choking back tears near the end. I hope you enjoy the story as much as I did.
Reviewed by Christine Irvin
It's about family (I suspect most of this author's works are) and how one messy family came together when a flood was threatening their house. Frankie lives in the house her sister and she grew up in, but now, the river is coming and the family wants to help. "That river. She's a her in my book. She's been a friend most of these years, bringing boaters who deliver groceries. Bringing birds and beauty. We've lived through storms and sunrises and sunsets. Winter Squalls. I want to see how far she's going to crawl up my hill. I want to know if she'll come into my house. Sometimes I talk to her at night. She's great company."
So the river flood is happening, but as in real life so are a million other things too. Our main character, a child named Lucy secretly wants to be a poet, lives in a family of singers and cannot carry a tune. Her sister is an amazing artist but no one quite knows yet, and it turns out Lucy is the only one who knows her 2 year old brother Teddy can sing like an angel. He doesn't use words, but every night he sings just to his big sister. The adults have their problems too, but they are all through the lens of a child so it is felt, but not explained. The mother I related to more than I wanted to. Her youngest hasn't bonded with her as well, and she feels guilt over it. She also wants to be or do something more with her life but can't quite put her finger on it.
"No, it isn't you. Mama needs something all her own, that's all," he [Dad] says.
He goes out to where Mama is.
"Mama needs more than us," I say.
"Not really," says Frankie. "she just doesn't quite know what she has. She never did. She'll find that out one day. I promise."
If you are a mom, you know exactly how that feels, if you aren't there are other things in the story for you to relate to, and that's the brilliancy of it all. The whole book reads almost like a long poem, while still being accessible to anyone. More happens, secrets come out and the family comes together. I laugh because the little 2 year old is brilliant but quite. It reminded me so much of my little girl. We were so worried about her because she was a late talker, only to have her bust out counting to over ten shortly after she began saying "Mama."
Everyone is unique with something to offer. Everyone has secret dreams and hopes and this book gets that.