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If These Wings Could Fly
Cover of If These Wings Could Fly
If These Wings Could Fly
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Perfect for fans of Laura Ruby, Laurie Halse Anderson, and Mindy McGinnis, Kyrie McCauley's stunning YA debut is a powerful story about the haunting specter of domestic violence and the rebellious...
Perfect for fans of Laura Ruby, Laurie Halse Anderson, and Mindy McGinnis, Kyrie McCauley's stunning YA debut is a powerful story about the haunting specter of domestic violence and the rebellious...
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Description-

  • Perfect for fans of Laura Ruby, Laurie Halse Anderson, and Mindy McGinnis, Kyrie McCauley's stunning YA debut is a powerful story about the haunting specter of domestic violence and the rebellious forces of sisterhood and first love. A Morris Award finalist.

    Tens of thousands of crows invading Auburn, Pennsylvania, is a problem for everyone in town except seventeen-year-old Leighton Barnes. For Leighton, it's no stranger than her house, which inexplicably repairs itself every time her father loses his temper and breaks things.

    Leighton doesn't have time for the crows—it's her senior year, and acceptance to her dream college is finally within reach. But grabbing that lifeline means abandoning her sisters, a choice she's not ready to face.

    With her father's rage worsening and the town in chaos over the crows, Leighton allows herself a chance at happiness with Liam, her charming classmate, even though falling in love feels like a revolutionary act.

    Balancing school, dating, and survival under the shadow of sixty thousand feathered wings starts to feel almost comfortable, but Leighton knows that this fragile equilibrium can only last so long before it shatters.

 

Awards-

About the Author-

  • Kyrie McCauley is the author of If These Wings Could Fly, winner of the William C. Morris YA Debut Award, and We Can Be Heroes. She has also been a waitress, nanny, singer in a band, ACLU intern, rally organizer, Truman Scholar, and most recently, a mother and a writer. She holds a master of science in social policy from the University of Pennsylvania. She lives near Philadelphia with her husband, children, and several ill-mannered but beloved cats. You can visit Kyrie at www.kyriemccauley.com.

Reviews-

  • Kirkus

    January 1, 2020
    The intricacies of family violence are explored in this lyrical novel. As she begins her senior year of high school, Leighton precariously balances her commitment to her two younger sisters with her desperation to flee her father's ongoing abusive behavior. Smart, driven, and self-possessed, she's been focused on earning her way into NYU and is unprepared for the emotional shake-up that comes with a romance that grows between her and Liam, a fellow student whose nuanced kindness eventually wins her over. Details about an ever growing population of almost preternatural crows in her small Pennsylvania town and her family's house's spontaneously repairing itself when her dad breaks things in the midst of his rages are juxtaposed against Leighton's authentic, intimate first-person narration, providing an element of the otherworldly that is likely to either appeal mightily to or confuse readers, depending on their taste for magical realism. Strong writing that features some dreamily lovely turns of phrase and language stands out, and the dynamics of domestic violence, including Leighton's simultaneous love for and frustration with her mother, are portrayed in all their complexity without feeling pedantic. Leighton and her family are white. Liam's mother is black and his father is white, and his experience as one of the few people of color in their town adds texture to his character development. A powerful, thoughtful, and ultimately hopeful debut. (Fiction. 14-18)

    COPYRIGHT(2020) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    February 3, 2020
    McCauley makes a moving debut with this hard-hitting novel set in a small, tightly knit town. In Auburn, Pa., crows are gathering by the thousands, rendering the world outside as surreal as the one behind closed doors in 17-year-old Leighton’s house. Her gun-toting father is becoming increasingly violent and abusive, though the house magically repairs itself every time he leaves cracks in the walls, and Leighton fears for the safety of her mother and two younger sisters. Mean-
    while, she grows concerned for the crows’ wellbeing, treating one like a pet and even feeling affection toward them, while angry townspeople are desperate to rid the town of them. In the midst of the chaos, Leighton falls in love with football player Liam, whose home life appears comfortingly normal amid his struggles growing up black in a nearly all-white community. Though Leighton feels safe when she’s with Liam, going out with him means leaving her family unprotected—as would heading to college. McCauley develops convincing, sympathetic characters while building tension that underscores the precariousness of Leighton’s situation. While the book doesn’t shy away from raw depictions of domestic abuse, the love and warmth exuding from Leighton’s sisters, Liam, and his kindhearted family soften the story’s sharp edges. Ages 13–up. Agent: Suzie Townsend, New Leaf Media & Literary.

  • School Library Journal

    February 14, 2020

    Gr 8 Up-The small town of Auburn, PA, has a crow problem. While Leighton Barnes is just trying to survive home and high school, thousands of birds continue to descend on the town. The daughter of a former high school football star and a homecoming queen, Leighton's life is less than idyllic: her focus is to keep herself, her mother, and her two siblings safe from domestic violence. Her father's failures, from football to business, have created a monster; his rage keeps the entire household in constant fear. In the midst of growing violence at home, Leighton is pursued by a football star at school, allowing her a little normalcy in an otherwise chaotic existence. The threat of the crows and Leighton's house, which miraculously repairs itself when windows and walls are broken in violent outbursts, offer some magical undertones that are a relief and counterpoint to very real-world drama. But McCauley doesn't explore them enough to move the story into magical realism, nor is the treatment light enough to be ignored. VERDICT Despite the awkward imbalance of magic and realism, this is a compelling story of a teen struggling with violence at home.-Heather Acerro, Rochester Public Library, MN

    Copyright 2020 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • AudioFile Magazine There's a subtle element of magical realism in this contemporary young adult audiobook, narrated by Lisa Flanagan. Leighton's reserved demeanor and focus on getting into a good college far away from her hometown hide the turmoil of her home life. As her father's emotional abuse escalates, so does her anxiety about the safety of her sisters and her mother. Flanagan gives a realistic performance that is rich with the wide range of emotions Leighton and her sisters experience. As narrator, Flanagan keeps listeners fully engaged, capturing the distinct personality and voice of each character. This harrowing story is sure to keep listeners on the edge of their seats. A.L.S.M. � AudioFile 2021, Portland, Maine

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    Katherine Tegen Books
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