Flying Over Water — Review

Thought for the Day:

“Your black moment isn’t black enough until the reader, and possibly even you as the writer, can’t see a way out.”
~ Kara Lennox ~

Gifts for My Writer Friends:

Chris Mooney has a good article from Writer’s Digest HERE that gives you 5 Rules for Writing Stories that Work. Lots of ads scattered through the article, but it’s worth the effort.

To prologue or not to prologue. That is the question. HERE is a good post from Kristen Overman and the Good Story Company that will help you figure it out.

We all hope and pray to get that elusive edit letter that means our books are in the chute. But sometimes it’s a bit of a shock. Emily K. Thiede has a really excellent post HERE that will give you good ideas about how to handle that.

I know my meme is one day late, but I didn’t find it until this week, so forgive me. The week many of us have been waiting for is finally here. I am excited by the number of people who have voted early, and I am especially excited that so many young people are turning out and many first-time voters. I am always astonished when I read about the the low turnout most elections have. I heard today that local elections generally have a turnout of only 20% of eligible voters, and that presidential elections barely break the 50% mark. That is so sad. I have voted in every single election I have been eligible to vote in since I turned 21. It hasn’t taken that much of an effort either. Just a little reading up and a short trip to a polling place, although now I vote by absentee ballot. In my opinion, if you don’t vote, you have no right to complain. So, if you haven’t done so yet, please vote!

Last week, I offered a gently-read ARC of The Last Mirror on the Left by Lamar Giles and illustrated by Dapo Adeola to one of you. This week’s winner is K. A. Cummins. Congratulations, K. A.! K. A. is a writer from Alabama, and you can learn more about her at her site HERE. K. A., I will get your book out to you soon.

Once in a while, I hear from writers who have books coming out to ask if I will review their new books. I don’t always take them on as I have so many books to review for the book review company I work for, but when I hear from Shannon Hitchcock, I know I need to make time. Her books are such a treat. Her new book, Flying Over Water, just came out on October 20, and I received the copy she sent me on Friday. I didn’t get to start it until yesterday, but I was excited to read it, so I put everything else aside and got to it. It isn’t Shannon’s book alone. She has a writing partner, N. H. Senzai, who has several middle-grade books published. These two women have written a wonderful book, told from the points of view of two 7th-grade girls, one a native-born American girl, the other a new immigrant, a Muslim girl whose family has come from a Syrian refugee camp.

Noura and her twin brother, Ammar, arrive in Tampa Bay, Florida with their parents and little brother, Ismail. Noura is terrified of water, so flying over so much water was really, really hard for her. They are met at the airport by the news that the president has put in a Muslim ban, but there are plenty of people there to help them. At their apartment, they meet Jordyn, a very tall blond girl who tells Noura she will be her student ambassador and will help her navigate around school and learn to be more comfortable. While there are a lot of nice kids at the school, there are a couple of real trouble makers, kids who have learned to hate and make that hate known. Noura and Ammar are harassed by a some students when they are trying to find a quiet place for their daily prayers. They request a place for prayers from the principal, and are given the use of an old storage room. The custodian cleans it out, and several of the kids decorate it. It becomes a center for kids of many faiths who want to pray or meditate or just have a safe, quiet place. Jordyn, who seems to have a perfect life, has problems of her own. Her mother, who had a recent miscarriage, hasn’t been herself, and Jordyn has a secret that makes her feel really guilty. It causes her to start having panic attacks, and she blows one of her swimming competitions. The harassment at school escalates, and some terrible things happen. Can the kids pull together and help each other overcome all that they face?

Shannon Hitchcock
N. H. Senzai

This is a terrific book that is incredibly timely for youngsters today. It is beautifully written and very compelling. The two points of view work really well for this story. The voices are distinctive and each girl is a rich and complex character. In fact, all the characters are fully-formed and realistic. This would be a great read-aloud in middle-grade classes and a wonderful way to start important discussions. It is such a lovely story, it deserves readership well beyond its intended middle-grade audience. We can all learn from this powerful story.

I have no giveaway this week. I will donate the nice hardback copy I got to the school. Don’t forget to check for other Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday posts at the Greg Pattridge’s blog HERE.

21 thoughts on “Flying Over Water — Review”

  1. Such a fantastic sounding story. I enjoy multiple viewpoints and these two girls with very different backgrounds are the perfect choice to engage readers. I’ll be looking for a copy to add to my pile of future reads. The links look great but will have to wait until tonight when time allows. Thanks for featuring on MMGM.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Loved your enthusiastic review of Flying Over Water. It really is relevant to the events going on in our world. Going onto my list too. Love how Hitchcock and Senzai have teamed up to create this important novel! Thanks for such a great review!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Learning to look at our world through another person’s eyes is so important. Flying Over Water sounds like a book that will help kids do that. Thanks for another interesting review, Rosi!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love the idea of two distinct voices as others have said. This really does sound like a wonderful book.

    Also, I agree with your view that people who don’t vote have nothing to complain about. However, I add a warning. If you don’t vote, you have given the choice of your government to the dumbest, meanest person you know.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow, I love that you’ve voted in so many elections—we need that kind of participation from everyone! I love the meme as well—have we tried turning 2020 off and back on again? 😉 Flying Over Water sounds truly wonderful—I love seeing so many dual-author books bringing two different perspectives at once! Thank you for the great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What a wonderful sounding book! You are right, this book could spark great discussion in the classroom. Sometimes I feel so wistful about teachng: At the time I retired, there weren’t nearly enough of these books that dealt with multicultural or immigrant issues, and I would have loved to stock up on the books you have been reviewing. Great review.

    Liked by 1 person

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