This fascinating story follows three siblings through an amazing adventure in a mixed up world when their airplane mysteriously lands in Falling Bird instead of Denver. The story is told from alternating viewpoints of India, the annoyed fashion-minded teenager, Finn, the responsible worrywart brother, and Mouse, the super intelligent youngest sister.
Everything makes sense at the beginning. The children’s mother reveals that their house is going to be taken by the bank, and the children must go live with their estranged Uncle Red. They are upset, but very grounded in reality when they say good-bye to their mother, who promises to join them soon, and begin their flight. Soon, the story takes a surreal turn. After a bout of turbulence, the children exit the plane to encounter strange people and wacky taxi cabs that feel as though they are flying through clouds instead of traveling on roads.
The narrative is a bit confusing to follow because the children do not know where they are or why they are there, and neither does the reader. In spite of that, I found I couldn’t put this book down. I enjoyed hearing the thoughts of all three characters and understanding why they made the (sometimes bad) choices they made. The ending was a bit of a shock, too, and kept me thinking about the novel long after I finished it. I’m putting this on my list of books that I think will appear on next year’s children’s book awards lists. Kids who liked Savvy by Ingrid Law or The City of Emberbooks by Jeanne DuPrau might like this extraordinary fantasy adventure.
reviewed by Jennifer
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