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 *
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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Some parts were heart-warming, others funny and some utterly heart-breaking. I did actually cry at some points, which is rare for me when reading a book! However, the book in itself was such a moving experience and the way Webber wrote the story was so realistic. I felt as if Wing was sitting next to me, telling me the story in real life.
I loved how diverse Wing Jones is, and to be honest I don't think I've read a book before where there is only one main character who is white. This is what made the book so particularly refreshing to me, along with the fact that there was a same-sex relationship and also the bringing together of various different cultures. The book was so fresh and imaginative and it was honestly unlike any YA novel I had read before.
The characterisation was probably the best bit about Wing Jones and I loved every single character, they were so believable and realistic. My favourite characters were Wing (obviously), Monica, Aaron and Wing's grandmothers. They peppered every page with warmth and brilliance and I could read a hundred books featuring these characters.
Above everything, Wing Jones touches on a load of important issues that are, unfortunately, still relevant today. Wing Jones is about race, bullying, feminism, and self-confidence in young women. Wing, although at first doubtful of her abilities, eventually learns to believe in herself and realises she can achieve anything she puts her mind to. I think Wing could inspire a whole generation of young girls and boys to never stop believing in themselves and aspire to whatever their dreams are, no matter how huge the obstacles are that stand in their way.
Overall, I adored Wing Jones, and I'm sure you will too! It is the perfect book for everyone, of any age! Don't miss out, order it online or run to your nearest bookshop.
The story is about Wing, a half black, half Chinese teenage girl living in America in Atlanta, Georgia. The first chapter of the book introduces us to Wing and her brother as well as setting up a bit of fantasy which continues throughout the story.
Wing's character was easy for me to relate to. She's bullied at school for being different and doesn't feel she's good at anything in particular. Wing has a really strong relationship with her brother Marcus and it's this that is soon tested when something terrible happens to him, an accident, and she and the others are left to deal with what happened to him and the consequences of the event. I don't really want to explain this part too much as it would spoil the story but the way the characters all deal with things afterwards and the mixed feelings everyone has towards Marcus and the event are interesting and I enjoyed this aspect of the whole novel. The book is about more than just Marcus's accident though and Wing realises a talent she didn't know she had, a talent for running.
Despite the book being an excellent portrayal of how a terrible accident can overshadow peoples lives and how we all can find a love or a talent and what happens if we go after our dream, it just didn't appeal to me like I'd hoped. I'm not exactly a fan of contemporary fiction but I do still read a fair bit and usually enjoy YA contemporary novels but with this book I just never felt a desperate need to get back into reading it which usually happens if you get into a good book.
I like the diversity in this novel. Wing and her brother are mixed race and I like the way the book openly tackled the difficulties Wing has with this, as well as the difficulties another character has with being gay. However the book just never felt exciting to read. At times I didn't like the way Wing's entire mind was consumed with one character. Although the feelings of first time love are very relevant in YA, it felt a little over the top for me and it made Wing feel like she wasn't as complex a character as I would have liked her to be. I also didn't enjoy the fantasy aspect of the book. It is a minor part of the story, Wing sees a dragon and a lioness whenever she runs (this is introduced to us right at the start of the novel so I'm not spoiling it by telling you this) but you never find out if these were made up in her head or part of Chinese folklore or something else. And I'm honestly still confused as to the setting of the book in 1995. There wasn't a real need for this as the story never feels dated and apart from a reference to the Atlanta Olympics (which happened in 1996) and the fact, maybe, that there were more racial tensions back then, I see no real reason why the book couldn't be set in today's time.
Although there are moments I really enjoyed in this book, I particularly enjoyed Wing's grandmothers and the way both acted towards each other, overall I just wasn't awed by this book. There isn't anything offensive apart from mild use of the s swear word and I think the book would be good for all teen ages and older and a good book for those with low confidence in themselves to read as the story of Wing's running is very inspiring. However I just didn't enjoy it and I'm not sure I'd read it again.
-Thanks to Walker Books for a free copy.
On a side note this book has beautiful sprayed pink/purple edges! I've added a picture to show you :)
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I’ve been looking forward to Wing Jones forever, just because it is so different from the books I normally read, and I was not disappointed.Read more
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