What happens when a normal high-school junior discovers he can take on the attributes of animals? For John, it is a wondrous, scary discovery. But when his schoolmates and family learn of it--watch out. The Flight of the Cassowary is not straight fantasy, however. It's a recounting by a likable, articulate 16-year-old of that fateful school year. He makes the football team, spars with his father, and falls in love. Most important, his fascination with animals and the links between them and mankind takes an unexpected turn. He experiences fleeting, dream-like episodes in which he adds the behavior of a dog, a horse, and other animals to his normal behavior. John's powers gradually strengthen, but when they become public knowledge, his life starts to fall apart. How he wrestles with and overcomes the doubts of his family and peers--and his own doubts--form the triumphant climax of this heartwarming story. The author has skillfully worked the threads of fantasy into the skein of everyday events that make John a hero many young readers will welcome. He's the kind of regular guy who's a pal for the guys and a catch for the girls. The story does stumble at the end, when the aftermath of John's triumph is given short shrift, but The Flight of the Cassowary is a trip worth taking.