“Coming soon!…A boy is going to fly! Do you believe it?…Will you be there???”
A spate of mysterious announcement letters just like that, each accompanied by its own feather, circulate around Lambourn Secondary School. Narrator Alex Meadows is at first fearful but then becomes intrigued, welcoming the distraction from the usual routine. While he has been successfully employing a don’t-react strategy against the provocations of bullies like Alan Tydman, his neighbor David “Bogsy” Marsh chooses the opposite tactic and suffers for it. Alex eventually discovers that Bogsy is the one sending the notes as they navigate their emerging friendship, confront their tormentor, and ultimately participate in what becomes the Icarus Show. Alex’s warm relationship with his elderly neighbors plays a significant role when one, learning that Bogsy is in serious trouble, gives helpful advice and summons his real-life Daedulus to save the day. With Alex’s chatty narration, Christie employs an ambitious and promising story structure and some cinematic imagery, laced with British nuance. Although development between plot points is occasionally heavy-handed or lacking in depth, the overall message will resonate. Alex is silent on matters of race; readers will likely infer that he and his classmates are white.
An aspirational mix of Greek myth and painful truths for middle-grade readers. (Fiction. 9-12)