- Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: Walker Books; 01 edition (5 Jan. 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1406369098
- ISBN-13: 978-1406369090
- Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 2.4 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 42 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 326,315 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Wing Jones Paperback – 5 Jan 2017
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"This lovely YA debut follows Wing Jones, a Chinese-Ghanaian highschooler, who, in 1990s Atlanta finds herself in the midst of family tragedy with only one escape: running. It's a powerful and charming book about finding support and inner strength against the odds; it may prick your tear ducts a little, but when has a really good book not?" * BuzzFeed * "[...] this is a compelling and heartwarming account of finding hope even in the bleakest of circumstances. And while American reviewers are likely to praise the title for its racial diversity, it should also be commended for its sympathetic portrayal of a working-class family and the terrifying burden of medical expenses in a pre-Obamacare society." * Irish Times * I loved that it took all the building blocks of great YA, but made something really new and fresh from them. It's got some pretty teary moments but, ultimately, it's a triumphant read about finding your own strength. -- Anna James * The Pool * A splendidly diverse domestic setup with vivid, evocative details ensures that the book's big issues never feel unbalanced; and many readers will yearn for Wing's guardian lion and dragon spirits (touches of magical realism here) to guide them through times of crisis * The Guardian * Already lots of buzz about the debut from Booktrust staffer Webber and it's well deserved, an immensely readable novel about family. [...] Running is key to Wing's self-discovery and these scenes are some of the most striking in the book, really inspirational to see such a positive storyline about girls and sport. * Bookseller * Wing's story is heart-wrenchingly beautiful and her discovery of running as an outlet for her emotions demonstrates that you can do anything if your heart is in it. In a year where we all could do with some hope, Wing Jones shows the rewards of action, belief and achievement.... Magical and real, sad and triumphant. It explores grief, tragedy, perseverance, bullying, ambition, blossoming love, friendship, family and more. A truly beautiful book that everyone should pick up! * Mugglenet * Wing is one of my favourite characters of the year [...] You need to get yourself a copy as early in the New Year as you can. In fact get your pre-order in right now!, and start 2017 right! * Bart's Bookshelf * "In a nutshell: Losing your way, running for your life, finding your feet A beautifully bittersweet debut in which a teenage girl discovers a latent talent that shines light on the darkest of times. Set in the run-up to the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, this is an expansive, heartfelt tale of loss, first love and self-discovery, and readers will truly root for Wing. Highly recommended for fans of Jandy Nelson and Rainbow Rowell." * LoveReading Joanne Owen January 2017 Debut of the Month * "An emotional roller coaster of family loyalty, overcoming tragedy and self belief. Inspiring." * South Wales Evening Post * "A heart-warming, positive tale about family, identity and coming of age, Wing Jones does an excellent job of presenting a mixed-race heroine in a supportive and loving family, but one with its own complex stresses and differences. The experience of being the sibling of a very successful brother is finely drawn, as is Wing's blossoming first romance, which runs alongside her own development as an athlete, with sensitivity to the interplay of Wing being true to herself and coping with overwhelming new feelings. Wing's two matriarch grandmothers are especially wonderful and provide an extra, magical element to a well-rounded story about love, family and ambition." * BookTrust * "Girls of 13 upwards will love the emotional intensity and honesty of the novel." * The School Librarian * "I got hooked on the book straight away [...] It was magical, emotional and all about family relationships." * Teen Titles * A direct writing style and nuanced view of life and relationships bring depth to this rewarding read. * Children's Books Ireland *
From the Inside Flap
For fans of David Levithan, Jandy Nelson and Rainbow Rowell: a sweeping story about love and family from an exceptional new voice in YA.
With a grandmother from China and another from Ghana, fifteen-year-old Wing Jones is often caught between worlds. But when tragedy strikes, Wing discovers a talent for running she never knew she had. Wing's speed could bring her family everything it needs. It could also stop Wing getting the one thing she wants.
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Wing Jones is the story of a girl of Ghanian-Chinese hertiage who has lived her whole life in the shadow of her superstar football-playing brother and discovers a talent for running when her brother is in a car accident and killstwo people whilst drink-driving.
There was lots to like about this book - Wing's talent and dedication to her running was inspiring and uplifting, especially as she persisted despite all odds.
Wing's heritage made for interesting reading and I absolutely loved her grandmothers. I think they were my favourite characters in the whole book and in fact the whole family dynamic was lovely. The thing about her dragon and her lioness confused me - were they real or the embodiment of her ancestry and her strengths?
I also liked the friendships Wing made when she started running (although the running thing confused me - she was a sophomore (?) so presumably she'd been through several years of PE prior to this book. How was it she'd never discovered her ultra-quick running before now??). Wing really develops as a character througout the book and these friendships are a major part of her transformation. Wing's narrative starts out as very childish, but by the end she sounds a lot more mature.
The main thing that annoyed me was how Wing's brother Marcus committed a horrific crime and that crime just seemed to get swept under the carpet at the end of the book:
<b>His court appearance is in six weeks. We all know he's going to to jail. But we got through this; we can get through whatever comes next.' </b>
That is literally all that's said about Marcus's crime. This seems to be an amazing volte face for someone who has just spent *riffles through pages* FIFTY EIGHT CHAPTERS stressing about what her brother has done.
Another thing that annoyed me was the romance. In fact, I'm going to go out on a limb and say the romance did nothing for this book. It didn't move the plot along, it didn't interest me. It was like someone had told the author that because she was writing a YA book so she really really needed to include a love interest and it felt totally shoe-horned in. Plus, I really didn't like Aaron. When he and Wing were kissing in the tent, he tries to go further and she tells him not to and then he sulks. This is not hot, it's creepy. Also, unless I'm reading it wrong, Aaron is eighteen and Wing is fifteen. This is also borderline creepy. Wing sounds very immature when she talks about Aaron- it's all about how gorgeous he is, rather than his personality or what he's like and she's quite possessive of him.
Would I recommend this book? If it's in the library, or if a friend offers it to you, maybe. Not sure I'd go out especially and buy it.
Wing is very family-orientated, especially after the death of her father. Since that day, her brother Marcus has been there for her, and keeps her under his protective wing.
Her life suddenly gets turned upside down when her brother is involved in a car crash, one that not only sees him being responsible for the deaths of two people, but one that leaves him in a coma for months.
With pressure now on the family, not only from people who hate them for what Marcus has done, but from mounting bills down to the medical costs, Wing is incredibly worried. She is worried about her brother, and worried about the rest of her family who are doing everything they can to pull together.
Spurred on by her imaginary dragon and lion, she steps out of her comfort zone and starts running. She finds herself worry-free whilst her legs are pounding on the track, unbeknown to her she is also exceptionally fast and talented, and that people are starting to notice.
Wing Jones is a spectacular YA book, one that I can see being a real hit this year. The book has that uplifting feel to it, and you will find yourself submerged into the lives of some extraordinary people.
Ms. Webber has portrayed characters that are so realistic. They are not superstars, they are everyday, normal people, people you would expect to see in your daily life. I personally love Wing’s two grandmothers who live with the family, one from China, and one from Ghana. They fight like cat and dog, their upbringing and cultures are completely different, yet they clearly love and respect one another.
The story is very much about one young girl’s need to grow up fast, thrown in at the deep end. She wants to help the family out, and not be treated like a child, kept in the dark about the problems they are going through. She also doesn’t know how to handle that knowledge, and the stress that comes with it. By running, and creating these imaginary characters, she is releasing some of that stress in the only way she knows how.
You get to feel every ounce of pain that Wing feels, from hurt and betrayal, to heartbreak, as well as every joyous moment, including her first kiss, and winning that all important race.
This book will take your heart and soul and drag them deep into the core of the plot. It will make you feel like you are part of Wing’s family, standing shoulder to shoulder with them, and praying for her to eventually find some sense of comfort in herself.
The book will also teach you that the actions of one person can have a domino effect on numerous other lives, whether for better or worse.
The book was a real delight to read. You certainly wouldn’t think that this is the work of a debut novelist. I look forward to many more novels by Ms. Webber.
Reviewed on Whispering Stories Book Blog
*I received a free copy of this book, which I voluntarily reviewed*
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