The Chance to Fly — Review

Thought for the Day:

“When I’m writing, I’m waiting to see somebody, and I’m waiting to hear them. It’s almost like conjuring spirits out of the air, using your own imaginative instability.”
~ Charles Baxter ~

Gifts for My Writer Friends:

This is just for fun. Mental Floss has a post HERE with 25 Words That Are Their Own Opposites. I never thought about a lot of these, and some are a real reach.

I haven’t posted anything from Kristen Lamb for a long time. I don’t know why. Her stuff is always so good. HERE she has a GREAT post on Why Editing Matters & Simple Ways to Make Your Work SHINE.

Anne R. Allen has a very interesting post HERE about unsympathetic characters and whether or not a protagonist needs to be likable. Her posts are always so good.

Anyone who has been reading my blog for a while, you know I am a huge baseball fan. Baseball is central to the two novels I’ve written and very central to my family. This week, with the trade deadline looming, my family and I spent a lot of time waiting and watching. My daughter Sara was a mess as other teams (including the dastardly Dodgers) made big trades while the Giants seemed to be doing nothing. Heck, there weren’t even rumors floating around. All she could talk about was Kris Bryant, but there seemed to be no movement until 29 minutes before the deadline. Bryant was coming and the celebrations began. Today, he is playing his first game as a Giant (the game is on-going as I write this) and hit a home run his second at bat. He looks good in a Giants uniform. I think we might keep on celebrating for a while.

Last week I offered a gently-read ARC of The Beatryce Prophecy by Kate DiCamillo to one of you. This book won’t be out until September, so if you didn’t win it, you might want to pre-order it. It’s well worth the wait. The winner this week is Susan Wroble. Congratulations, Susan! I will get the book out to you soon. If you don’t know Susan, she is a writer from the Denver area. You can learn more about her HERE on her website.

My daughter Maggie is an actor, and I spent a fair amount of time being a stage mom and hanging out with the theatre geeks at her school. When I see a middle-grade novel that is about young people doing theatre, I am always interested. I actually had two come up for review recently, so I will be sharing one today and another in a week or few. The book I want to tell you about today is The Chance to Fly by Ali Stroker and Stacy Davidowitz. It’s really a terrific book that will open a lot of eyes and minds in the middle-grade set. Here is the review I wrote for the Seattle Book Review. Please do click on Ali Stroker’s name. She doesn’t seem to have an author page, but the Wikipedia article about her is fascinating.

Stacy Davidowitz

Nat Beacon is thirteen and has a great life—a best friend, Chloe, who loves musicals just as much as Nat, her lovable dog Warbucks, and a wheelchair racing team that is competing well—when her parents announce they’re moving across country. Nat’s dad immediately finds her a new racing team to help her maintain her physical strength. When she is at practice, she spots a flyer for a teen theatre group putting on Wicked for their summer show. Nat has never seen it, but she knows the music cold, and she knows there is a character in a wheelchair. Her parents insist she shouldn’t try out, but she does anyway. Maybe she has found her tribe! Then there is a fire in the theatre and it seems all is lost. But is it?

Ali Stroker

Authors Ali Stroker and Stacy Davidowitz have written a book that will be beloved by theatre kids and kids with disabilities. Stroker is the first person in a wheelchair to appear in a Broadway show and win a Tony. Her experience gives a great sense of reality to this sweet book. The story is compelling and the characters are absolutely believable. Don’t miss this.

I have no giveaway this week since 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 Greg Pattridge’s blog HERE.

19 thoughts on “The Chance to Fly — Review”

  1. The Chance to Fly sounds like a fantastic book! It’s fascinating that Stroker took her own experiences as a Broadway actor in a wheelchair and used them in this book. And there’s certainly not many books with protagonists in wheelchairs, or even protagonists in theater for that matter, so this book sounds like it stands out from the crowd!

    I’m glad to hear you all are enjoying baseball, and I love the quote and meme! And the Mental Floss article is a lot of fun too—I agree that some words are a stretch, like “resign,” but a lot of those are ones I had never noticed either! The English language is seriously so weird. Thanks so much for the great review!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a great story and perfect for a theater lover like me. The main character sounds perfectly portrayed. I’ve added it to my growing list but hopefully can get to it soon. Great set of links. The one by Kristen Lamb was a real gem. Thanks for featuring your post on MMGM.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This sounds like a fantastic book! I especially like that it’s based on one of the author’s personal experience. I really enjoy books about theater and love seeing more kids with disabilities featured in MG.
    Will definitely look for one!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for posting great tidbits and tips for us writers. And I feel your baseball pain. We cheer on the Mets, the team that is hard ito like. Book 2 i of my series, The Dreams of Singers and Sluggers, has the pre-Yankees playing a role in the story.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m glad you enjoy the writer links. Ah, the hapless Mets. Although they are over 500 this year. That’s not so bad. I think baseball is always a good addition to a kids’ book. Thanks for the comment.


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