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Wings

by Christopher Myers

Published by Scholastic Press, 2000
40 pages
ISBN: 0-590-03377-8

Ages 5 - 11

Everyone stares at the new boy who has just moved into the block. Ikarus Jackson seems to be plenty different, that's for certain. He flies above the rooftops, "swooping and diving, looping past people's windows..." At school everyone notices him, too. They joke about his "long, strong, proud wings," his unusual hair, and also his shoes. One classmate seems to understand him. Cruel kids have whispered about her, too. Their whispering has made her feel lonely, even strange. Watching what is happening to Ikarus, she summons the courage to break her own silence. The spare, poetic words of this observant, sympathetic narrator build suspense. Myers's exciting cut-paper collage art brings excitement and wonder to his fully original, dynamic, beautifully designed story loosely based upon the Greek myth about Icarus. "Wings" was primarily inspired by the youthful experiences of the writer/artist who says he was tall for his age. He stood out among his peers for that reason, and also because he preferred to draw rather than do what tall boys are supposed to enjoy. His captivating picture book set in today's urban landscape is peopled with kids whose responses to difference may raise the question of how anyone handles meeting a person who seems different. Honor Book, 2001 Charlotte Zolotow Award; Honor Book, CCBC 2001 Caldecott Award Discussion; Honor Book CCBC 2001 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Discussion CCBC categories: Picture Books for Older Children; Understanding Oneself and Others.(GMK; Nov 20)  © Cooperative Children's Book Center


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