booksofafeather: A book and candlestick, with a feather lying across the pages. (Default)
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Short review: A boy feels trapped on the island where he lives and dreams of flying to escape, but finds out that the gift he has been granted is too much for him. This story clearly falls into the category of "be careful what you wish for" stories (even the back of the book has "be careful what you wish for" written on it), about a child doing something foolish against the wishes of his parents, usually because he feels he's stuck in a bad situation, and then turning back to normal realising how lucky he is to have a normal life. It's a story for scared parents to read to their children and hope that they become more careful... not a story that really sparks any child's heart. The story is quite simple and obvious, and there isn't much for winged people... it's not recommended.

Writing: The writing is average and quite simple... this is another children's book that has bad humour too, that makes the story feel less serious and real.

From a winged person's perspective...: There are a few things in here for winged people, but they are things you can find in much better books too. If you were stuck on an island and this was the only book you had, I can't say "don't read it" because there are a few inspiring parts, but, there's no need to buy it unless you are absolutely collecting every book that mentions winged people and flight. The story talks about "body flying" which is an interesting way of calling what happens in many books, the supernatural flying of humans without wings... body flying is a sport in this world of course and if you do body flying to feel your wings better, you might like this. There are also a few of the usual parts about how flying is natural and everyone dreams of it, and how joyful it is, which are nice but they're the only good thing in the book really.

Trigger warnings: Nothing that I noticed, other than the "just want to be normal" theme, which is not that strong even... the book doesn't deal strongly with the theme of not being a normal person, but, instead, he wants the flying for a practical reason and he gets rid of the flying for a practical reason. It's not much about identity, which makes it not triggery but also makes it not much interesting to this reviewer.

More thoughts...: The plot of this book is funny almost in how much it pushes its message... not being subtle about it at all. A boy learns to fly to escape the dullness of his island, but he gets spotted by some fishermen, who report the sighting. The government then come to try and take him away, show him off to the president, etc., and everyone gets really scared. It turns out okay but he decides he wants to get rid of his powers, so, he does... and they live happily with no thoughts or regret about it.

It's a normal story and we don't think about the problems with it, but, think about it for a moment. It's trying to say, if you seek after miracles they will only get you hurt in the end. A cautionary tale that is told to children, to dreamers, to witches, to anyone who reaches for something more in the hope of making the world a more magical place... if you stop when we tell you, you can avoid something bad happening to you. And if you don't... well... the people in charge will put you in your place.

Anyone who dreams to fly with their own wings, anyone who loves magic, anyone who seeks something more, should see this message for what it is, a form of control: what you want is worthless, and dangerous, and you need to become what we want to make you. In fact, you'll be happier that way. Of course, I don't think that stories where the flying causes problems or the flier has a bad reaction to it are always bad, but, it should be done in a thoughtful and balanced way... the thought that you would never even miss it a little bit, even if you choose to give it up, isn't realistic.

For any dreamer or thinker, I can't recommend it. I give it one and a half out of five: the half is only because it does describe the beauty of flight briefly, and, I only give one out of five on a review when there's nothing good about a book at all.
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