Thursday, February 4, 2010

Braving the Sky

Here is a book that just won’t let me go. I read it when it first came out and had to revisit it. Piper McCloud can fly–and not airplanes as her name might suggest. She is definitely heading for the heights however, if she can just keep all the everyday, blend in, be normal, don’t stand out world from changing her

THE GIRL WHO COULD FLY by Victoria Forrester, Feiwel and Friends, 2008.

Piper has a special talent. As a baby she could float in the air and bob around the parlor ceiling. Then one day, she braved the sky. What a scary thing for her parents to look up and see their only child soaring and swooping high above their heads. Why what would the new minister say? And so Piper was forbidden to fly. But that didn’t stop her. Her parents became so afraid for this long awaited but highly unusual daughter that they were willing to put her in a special school, a maximum security school where Piper would be hidden away until she was made right for a normal world. The goal, in my view, was to squash Piper and turn her from extraordinary into plain Jane ordinary.

“Piper, there are you...And a place where you will belong.” Soothing words from the director of the school. One might add, said the spider to the fly, except we’re talking about girls who "can” being conditioned so they “can’t.” Piper’s determination to be herself presents dangerous consequences.

For any girl who has ever been asked to keep her mouth shut and hide her brains, Piper is her champion. For any girl who has ever been made to feel that there is something wrong with her because she doesn’t agree with everyone else, Piper shows how to fly high.

Turning a brain inside out and against itself is a terrible thing. Read this with your daughter. Talk about it. Help her fly.

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