THE BOY WHO COULD FLY by James Norcliffe


Age Range: 10 - 14
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In this bizarre little story, first published in New Zealand in 2009 as The Loblolly Boy, a boy named Michael desperately wants out of his miserable life at a home for orphaned and abandoned children, and one day he sees his chance. A strange creature called the loblolly boy convinces Michael that he can fly right over the wall. When he does, Michael discovers—to his initial joy and later dismay—that he has traded places with the loblolly boy. After some fantastical adventures, loblolly boy/Michael winds up finding his long-lost family. His sisters take turns becoming the loblolly boy, but they ultimately pass the role back to Michael so he can regain his identity and escape the orphanage to come and live with them. To do it, he’ll have to outmaneuver the collectors who want him as a specimen and to convince the boy who now holds his body to “exchange” again. The premise has potential, but a lack of engaging characters and sense of immediacy make this one really drag. (Fantasy. 10-14)

Pub Date: July 13th, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-60684-084-9
Page count: 304pp
Publisher: Egmont USA
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 2010