1st January 2010, MacMillan Children's Books
336 pages, Paperback
Yunaleska's recommended rating: ♥♥♥♥♥
Summary from Pan MacMillan
Piper McCloud can fly. Just like that. Easy as pie. Problem is, the good folk of Lowland County are afraid of Piper. And her ma’s at her wits' end. So it seems only fitting that she leave her parents’ farm to attend a top-secret, maximum-security school for kids with exceptional abilities, whose skills range from super-strength to super-genius. But Piper is special, even among the special. And there are consequences. Consequences too dire to talk about. Too crazy to consider. And too dangerous to ignore.
By turns exhilarating and terrifying, an unforgettable story of defiance and courage starring an irrepressible heroine who can, who will, who must . . . fly.
This is undeniably a sweet book. Piper's has a talent which her parents try to keep hidden, but her secret comes out. The local people are scared by her ability - thankfully there's an agency in the world that is prepared to look after people like her. Or is it? Piper can fly - and yet she's not supposed to fly at the facility. If she's there for her skills to be used - why isn't she using them? It's something Piper doesn't dwell on for a while - the children don't warm to her immediately, they tease her (as they would any newcomer). Poor Piper nearly gets kicked out all because of the bully Conrad.
But that isn't all Piper has to worry about. There are mysterious goings on in the research areas of the facility - naturally off limits to the children living on level 13. Piper accidentally discovers the true reason behind the facility's existance. It's a scary one, one I couldn't have imagined. So Piper sets out to do the right thing. There's drama in every chapter, not all of it on a horrifying level, and an awful lot of times where I smiled at Piper's attitude. Piper eventually gets help from the most unexpected source, which goes to show you never know what's around the corner in a book.
If you're after rain inside a building, singing crickets, a girl who can make herself shrink to any size - you'll love this book. Piper's family are hard-working, sensible people without a mean bone in their body. Piper encounters many mean people, and somehow draws up the courage to face them. This is a book when the world looks a little gloomy outside, be it an actual bad weather day or just a bad life experience day. If people work together, they can achieve anything they set their minds to - just as Piper did. (Although flying without aid is currently beyond human ability).
Victoria has her own website here.
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