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5 of 5
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list price: $19.95
edition:Paperback
also available: eBook
published: Apr 2018
ISBN:9781771335133

The Discovery of Flight

by Susan Glickman

reviews: 1
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girls & women, death & dying, coming of age
5 of 5
1 rating
rated!
rated!
list price: $19.95
edition:Paperback
also available: eBook
published: Apr 2018
ISBN:9781771335133
Description

The Discovery of Flight is a novel in two voices about the relationship between two sisters, the older of whom is disabled by cerebral palsy and only able to communicate with assistive technology (she can control her computer by moving her eyes). It interweaves the fantasy novel sixteen-year-old Libby is writing for Sophie's thirteenth birthday, and Sophie's diary, in which she discusses the deteriorating condition of her older sister. The book's title is also the title of Libby's novel, in which Libby takes the form of a hawk telepathically linked to a girl who, like her sister, is a good artist. Sophie's diary is in fact illustrated with the occasional black-and-white drawing. The sicker Libby gets, the more she retreats into her novel and the less she interacts with the outside world. Though the situation is tragic, Sophie's voice is extremely funny and wry. In addition, through her storytelling, Libby becomes a heroic figure rather than a helpless victim. After Libby's death, the girls' mother presents Sophie with the novel and Sophie writes its final chapter, bringing the voices of the two girls together.

About the Author
Susan Glickman has won both the Gabrielle Roy Prize and the Raymond Klibansky Prize for her work of literary criticism The Picturesque & the Sublime: A Poetics of the Canadian Landscape. Her first novel, The Violin Lover[Goose Lane, 2006] won the Canadian Jewish Book Award for fiction. She teaches creative writing and is a freelance editor.She lives in Toronto, Ontario.
Author profile page >
Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
Age:
12 to 18
Grade:
7 to 13
Awards
  • Short-listed, American Book Feat International Book Awards (Fiction-Young Adult)

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Reader Reviews

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The Discovery Of Flight

A little hard on the heart at times, but in a lovely story of sisterhood.

The Discovery Of Flight alternates between twelve year old Sophie’s school assigned journal during the year leading up to her bat mitzvah, and her sixteen year old sister, Libby’s secret gift for Sophie, a medieval story about the bond between a girl and a hawk that echoes Libby and Sophie’s relationship.

Sophie’s journal entries have a free-flowing authentic feel, she’s inquisitive, passionate and opinionated, which I loved, she questions religion and her teachers in ways that seem true to her age and thoughtful, she advocates for and adores her sister refusing to tolerate anything less than respect for her, and there’s such a good arc where this socially aware girl comes to realize that she hasn’t be quite as aware of her grandmother and how deep down they are more like-minded than she knew.

Cerebral Palsy has Sophie’s older sister, Libby, unable to communicate in the traditional way, yet through her sister’s journal, and through Libby’s fiction, you discover her as a person, her intelligence and her dreams and how very much alive she is within her uncooperative body, she feels every bit as dimensional as Sophie in the book even though she doesn’t express herself in as direct a manner, the story very much belongs to both sisters, not just the verbal one.

Though a short read, it’s impressive how in so few pages, and in a simple writing style, the contemporary and fantasy segments weave together this fully-realized, heartwarming story of sisters, by the end you feel like you’ve truly known and loved these girls.

I received this book through a giveaway.

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