Parents' Guide to

The Chance to Fly

By Mandie Caroll, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Uplifting musical theater-themed story has charming lead.

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This fun, thoughtful coming-of-age novel may be musical-themed, but despite the allusions to Broadway musicals and theater-speak, it really does have wide reader appeal. The Chance to Fly artfully strings together several storylines. There's Nat, the new girl in town, and the rift growing between her and the best friend she left behind. There's Nat's wheelchair use, the welcome ordinariness of it, but also how being disabled complicates Nat's relationship with her parents, and the exhausting, ever-present need for her to prove (mostly to adults) that she can actually do the thing they think she can't, and the stinging disappointment when she can't. There is a sweet first crush, and flirting, and a first kiss. There's the fast and fierce bonding that happens between kids working on a project together, the happiness of dreams being lived, and the acute relief of finally being understood, accepted, and celebrated for who you are.

This is a story about what happens when kids fight for and get what they need to succeed. Any reader who's ever felt out of place or lost will find hope, and a great deal of joy, in this inspiring middle grades read.

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