Children's Literature @ NYPL
Booktalking "Flyaway" by Lucy Christopher
Isla and her father share a love of swans and birds. When he falls ill, Jack, Mum and Isla struggle to cope. He needs a heart valve transplant. At least Isla makes good use of the large amount of time that she must now spend in the hospital ward. She comes across a boy named Harry, who has leukemia. He informs her that visiting hours never end in the children's ward, since the staff feels that the kids need company. Isla visits him when she can. They grow closer by examining the interesting behavior of a baby swan on the lake outside of the hospital. The swan enjoys emulating Isla, and the bird is learning how to fly. Isla's grandfather is a vet, and he helps her construct an amazing apparatus that she utilizes in order to learn more about the birds.
Part pig, part man? Isla's father will be getting part of a pig's heart. Almost like becoming a bionic man. Harry is also awaiting a transplant, and Isla's eyes are glued to her phone as she anticipates that very important text that will let her know that he came through the operation.
I like how the texts between Harry and Isla are interspersed with the prose in the book. When I saw a swan in a veterinary room that covered almost the entire examination table, I was surprised by how massive the birds are.