The Girl Who Could Fly
Written by Victoria Forester
Have you ever wondered what it was like to soar above the sky? To truly feel at home far away from home? Have you ever dealt with a bully who would go to the extent of pushing you out a window? Or put your fate in someone else’s hands? Let go of what you are for someone? Have you ever been a cloud? A McCloud, to be precise. Meet Piper McCloud, an ordinary girl from Lowland county…. or is she?
Ever since she was born, Piper has been a loner; no friends, no school, living on a farm, all by herself except for her two parents and her uncontrolled ability to float. Yes, float. Not fly but float… until one day Piper decides she’s had enough of floating and wants to fly, to soar in the sky. That one decision changes everything. At the town picnic, Piper joins in the baseball game, which is harmless, right? Wrong. In front of the disbelieving eyes of the whole county, Piper chases a fly ball… into the sky, giving her a first class helicopter ticket to INSANE, an institute run by Leticia Helion and devoted to keeping kids with crazy abilities like Piper’s “safe”. At INSANE, Piper will know others who have telekinesis, can control static electricity, control weather, see peoples’ underpants (X-ray vision), and an eleven-year-old genius named Conrad. Conrad is also the school bully, and will do things like push Piper out of a window and hook a six-year-old’s woven basket on a nail on the ceiling. But Conrad is also the only one who knows the truth about INSANE. Can he convince Piper and the others to believe him, and to escape with him, after all he’s done to them?
Although I have never truly flown, I would like to, and I do understand that level of freedom that Piper almost definitely has when she flies. I experience it when I swim, when I read, when I sprint after sitting for a while. I understand as well that feeling of trying to see the best in everyone, looking for one spark of goodness in a dying fire. But perhaps the thing I share the most with Piper is that we both want to follow our hearts and disregard our brains completely, which Piper does countless times in this book. It may not always be the most rational path, but like Piper I believe it’s the best one.
When Piper first arrives at INSANE, she has to promise to not fly at all until she is told she may. When Piper breaks this rule almost immediately and is caught, INSANE threatens to send Piper back home. Just like INSANE, many people will criticize others just for being themselves, whether it’s by bullying or advertising (they may show images that make the watcher or reader feel bad) or peer pressure. And the sad thing is that many of these people let the taunting or images or their friends get to them. In my fourth grade classroom, there was a poster that said “In a world of copycats, be an original.” Think about it, though. Does anyone you know, yourself included, even follow this great piece of advice?
The Girl Who Could Fly is by far one of the best books I’ve ever read. It has something for everyone, whether you’re a control freak, mischievous, a small girl with a big heart, a big boy with a small heart, a genius, quiet, pretty, mean, secretive, or caring. The girl who could fly will leave you crying out your heart and then make you smile for hours just thinking about it. Join Piper on her journey to INSANE, but be warned – you may learn more than you ever wished to know.