Friday, January 9, 2015

Fly Away by Patricia MacLachlan


Fly Away 
by Patricia MacLachlan 
108 pages
Middle Grade
McElderry Books
April 2014

Book Jacket Summary
From the Newbery Award–winning author of Sarah, Plain and Tall comes a story about one brave girl who saves her family from losing everything.

Everyone in Lucy’s family sings. Opera. Rap. Lullabies. Everyone, except Lucy. Lucy can’t sing; her voice just won’t come out.

Just like singing, helping Aunt Frankie prepare for flooding season is a family tradition—even if Frankie doesn’t want the help. And this year, when the flood arrives, danger finds its way into the heart of Lucy’s family, and Lucy will need to find her voice to save her brother.

My Thoughts
This is a very quick read that had quite an impact on me. Patricia MacLachlan is an author that does not waste words. Her writing is clean and each word seems to make an impact. Lucy is also a poet and wants to use her words to create a poem as perfect as a cow. I make a big deal about words because it is the central theme of the book with Teddy not speaking and Lucy keeping a poetry journal. 
Music is another important element of the book with little Teddy singing to Lucy at night. It is their secret. Teddy has a perfect voice while Lucy does not sing instead her voice gets choked up with singing while Teddy does not speak. It is their love for each other that keeps them linked. It also keeps them safe when Teddy goes missing.  
The book is lovely and I actually felt a longing for words like Lucy. It is strange how MacLacklan can create such powerful feelings in so few pages. The river that threatens to flood the house seems like its own character with whims and Aunt Frankie even talks to it at night.  The family leaps off the page with their love of music and each other. Family is everything to them and they help each other, even when help is not wanted. Aunt Frankie wants to keep her independence but is still grateful when her family comes to help. I loved the fact that the mother's chickens had to travel with them wherever they went.    

Book Pairings
A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd
Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan 



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