A young girl realizes she’s much more powerful—and avian—than she thought in this middle-grade novel.
Middle schooler Rosella “Rosie” Ava Bird has some pretty high aspirations: she wants to fly, and she has all sorts of ideas for new flight-related inventions and patents. She’s a pretty confident kid, but moving to a new school has shaken her up, thanks in part to the devious actions of her young next-door neighbor, Frank Furter, who bullies her whenever he has the chance. He trips her up in class, steals her things, and soon, even Rosie’s voice begins to falter—that is, until she joins the choir. One day, she sings so loudly that she shatters the windows in the choir room, and it gets weirder from there. As Rosie cultivates her birdlike voice, she starts to realize she also has a natural ability to fly. Guided by her science teacher, Mrs. Darling, Rosie must learn how to harness her powers and, most importantly, conquer Frank and his fellow bully, Perry Poopa. And she wants to win the science fair, besides. Tyrrell’s (Jo-Kin vs. Lord Tera, 2016, etc.) tale is an uplifting work about conquering bullies and staying true to oneself, and it fortunately favors action over too much emotion. However, the beginning tends to drag on a bit; it would have been better if the story had hurried to Rosie’s realization that she could have superpowers, because that’s where the fun starts. The bird allusions are also a little heavy-handed; Rosie’s family features numerous bird names (Robin, Raven), and most of the music they listen to is avian in nature (“Rockin’ Robin,” anyone?). Adults may find it hard to imagine that a child could be as cruel as Frank, but many children reading this novel will likely recognize some of their peers. Hopefully, it will inspire them to stand up for themselves and make the bullies stand down.
An imaginative tale that flies high after a slow start.