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It takes courage for the show to go on
March 2018 Debut of the Month
Highs, lows, love and laughter - this big-hearted circus-set debut has it all. Siblings Finch and Birdie Franconi are high-flying trapeze artists in their family circus school. They’re fearless in flight, and also in fashion. Their no-nonsense attitude and endlessly inventive ensembles of bright blazers, tutus, paisley print, polka print and outlandish accessories certainly make them stand-out at school, and also attracts the attention of brainy new boy Hector. Reluctant at first, Finch agrees to teach seemingly hapless Hector circus skills, but when Birdie has an accident on the trapeze, his world begins to unravel. Finch feels fear for the first time, and it falls to Hector to show him that the show must go on.
Alongside the tension and turmoil around Birdie’s condition, and the radiant razzle-dazzle of the circus, there’s a magnificent (if rocky-roaded) romance, and many words of wisdom come courtesy of Birdie’s blog posts: “You can’t control everything. That’s where courage comes in; sometimes you have to just go for it”.
Complex questions are put under the spotlight as the main characters try to navigate their way in the world, wondering who they are, who they should be, how they fit in, and these big issues are all explored with clarity, humour and a whole of lot of heart beneath Franconi’s exhilarating Big Top. ~ Joanne Owen
A teen novel about friendships, first romance and accepting who you are, set against a circus-showbiz backdrop. For fans of R.J. Palacio's Wonder, Sarah Crossan and Susin Nielsen's We Are All Made of Molecules.
From debut author Kelly McCaughrain comes a sweet and kooky romcom starring flying-trapeze double act and brother/sister twins, Finch and Birdie Franconi, and their geeky friend, Hector Hazzard. After Birdie's terrifying trapeze accident, serious performer Finch and clumsy wannabe Hector must work together to save the family circus school and put on the biggest show ever. Together they learn to walk the high-wire of teen life and juggle the demands of friends, family, first love and facing up to who they are - all served up with a dash of circus-showbiz magic.
In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Lovereading teen/YA Reader Review Panel members were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can read their full reviews by clicking here.
Flying tips for Flightless Birds is a quirky and complex story, told with an elegant simplicity that hooks you from the first few pages. A gentle but gripping exploration of the highs and lows of being a young person, of love, friends and the relationship we have with ourselves and others. * The Book Bag *
|Publication date:||1st March 2018|
|Publisher:||Walker Books Ltd|
|Year Groups:||Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4|
|Topics:||Family / Home Stories, Humorous, Romance / Relationship Stories, Siblings, Sexuality / Relationships|
Kelly McCaughrain lives in Belfast, where she works with disabled students in further education, and has just completed a degree in English and Creative Writing at Queens University. She was shortlisted for the 2013 Times/Chicken House Children's Fiction Prize. When she isn't writing she also works in a charity bookshop and takes long holidays in her 1967 classic campervan, Gerda. Flying Tips for Flightless Birds is her first novel.More About Kelly McCaughrain