Review by: Jerrie
In a world where,
too often, children are singled out for ridicule and taunts, and even
cruelty, by peers and adults, author Christopher Myers has written a
book challenging us to embrace our differences and celebrate our
The story of Ikarus, the
new boy in school, and his wings is told by a shy, quiet young African
American girl who knows all about isolation. At first, the oddity
of Ikarus's wings makes him a target of laughter from not only his
peers, but by the teacher who does nothing to stop the taunts.
The young narrator
thought if everyone 'saw' Ikarus fly then they would see what a
wonderful thing he could do. But flying leads to accusations of
being a show off. Sad and lonely, Ikarus comes to rest on top of a
building with the pigeons. The narrator notes that, "at least
pigeons don't make fun of people".
In the end, the narrator
reaches within herself to find a strength and dignity she didn't realize
existed within herself. This new sense of purpose lends this young
girl the courage to defend Ikarus and bring to his attention the uniqueness
and beauty of his wings. The bond that is formed between these two
outsiders allows them to find pride in their diversity and the courage
to stand tall.
This is an excellent book
for 'every child' who has been made to feel an
outcast and for every child to learn to accept and embrace those who are
different for whatever reason.
behind Wings, in Christopher Myers own words, "was to create a book
that tells kids never to abandon those things that make them different,
to be proud of what makes them unique. Every child has his own
beauty, her own talents".
About the author: Christopher
Myers was acclaimed with the solo debut of his first book, Black Cat,
which was named a Corettta Scott King Honor Book and an ALA Notable