GROWING WINGS by Laurel Winter


Age Range: 10 - 14
Email this review


While 11 is a time in a girl’s life when her body is undergoing changes, Linnet’s physical changes are highly unusual—she is growing wings. To her amazement, this bizarre fact doesn’t surprise her mother Sarah, who it turns out also had wings at Linnet’s age. But Linnet’s grandmother had cut off Sarah’s wings, not being able to imagine her navigating her way though life with them. After the school term ends, Linnet insists on going to look for, as she puts it, “anyone else like me.” After several days of travel and after being abandoned by her mother, Linnet ends up at her grandmother’s, who takes Linnet to an isolated house way up in the mountains, a secret place where other winged people live. Safe in the community of others like herself, Linnet and one of the others, Andy, try to teach themselves to fly but for various aeronautical reasons, they are both unable to. Linnet and Andy finally realize that they are unwilling to hide for the rest of their lives, even if it means being called freaks by intolerant people. The two kids decide to take their chances in the outside world with non-winged people. Oddly, there is not much explanation and surprisingly little discussion in the book about how and why these particular people grew wings and what the significance is. While a few theories are bandied about, none are really explored. The plot and characterizations are not skillfully crafted enough to allow a suspension of disbelief, and the book veers towards pomposity, seemingly raising weighty, philosophical themes, but never really taking flight. (Fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-618-07405-8
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2000