Publisher: Hachette Children’s Books
Published: March 5th, 2015
Pages: 191 (paperback)
Not available as audiobook at present time.
Synopsis by the publisher:
‘If Finn Maison shouts jump you jump or you are dead.’
Twelve-year-old Willem has Aspergers Syndrome and two main aims in life: to fly and to make at least two friends of his own age. But all the other boys from the Beckham Estate do is make him jump off things. First his desk – and now the wall. As his toes teeter on the edge, Sasha Barton gives him a tiny little wink. Might she become his friend?
Bullied by Finn and his gang the Beckham Estate Boyz, Willem has no choice but to jump. As he flies through the air he flaps his arms, wishing he could fly and escape into the clouds. Instead he comes crashing down and breaks his ankle.
Sasha, angry with herself for not stopping Finn and his Boyz, is determined to put things right. And soon, while the gangs riot on their estate, Willem and Sasha form an unlikely friendship. Because they share a secret. Sasha longs to fly too.
And when Magic Man Archie arrives with stories of war-flying spitfires, he will change the lives of the kids on the Beckham Estate for ever. And perhaps find a way for Willem and Sasha to fly …
Touching on themes such as friendship and bullying, this is a charming tale about overcoming obstacles and finding friendship in unlikely places.
The writing in this book was what really made this out to be not my cup of tea. I liked the dialogue and thoughts of Willem, but when it came to most of the other character’s voices it felt a little forced to me unfortunately.
And even though I see how Elson tried to give Sasha a realistic teen voice it just did not do it for me. And the word “proper” gave me headache when I saw it for the hundredth time.
I do enjoy writing in middle grade fiction from time to time, but this was not one of them. It was okay, but there was just a lot of things I found weird with it and it made me loose focus on the story as a whole at times.
I was really looking forward to reading a story that was told from the perspective of someone with Aspergers Syndrome as I do have someone close to me who has this syndrome but in a much lighter degree.
I liked his voice in the story and the way that his notes was shown to us and gives the reader an interesting insight to a brain that works a little different from most others.
That being said, I really felt like there could have been so much more depth to this character.
Sasha had I very hard time relating to. I found her love/hate relationship to Finn to be very annoying and somewhat unrealistic considering their very young age.
Unfortunately I found it to be really hard to get invested in this story. The start was catching but then it went kind of flat.
There were a lot of things going on from time to time, but for some reason it just didn’t grab a hold of me and at times it was a little all over the place and had me confused.
I didn’t like the ending of the story either. I thought it was very unrealistic.
Even though there is a lot of negative sides to this review there was a few sections of the book that I did enjoy.
It was a fast read and it might come across completely different for a younger reader than what it did for me.
Bottomline (in my case) is that I thought that the book was no more than okay. It had potential to be so much more than what it was.
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