Book Review: Fly, Jacob Moore
Young Adult/Fantasy: Fly, Jacob Moore
Fly, Jacob Moore
Blog Tour May 9, 2022
When I was a kid, I wanted to fly. I wanted to soar through the air effortlessly, powered by some unknown magic that allowed me to travel aloft. I might be a grandfather now, but that actually still sounds like it would be totally amazing.
William daydreams. A lot. He struggles in school, often because he cannot remain focused on his classes. And a lot of his daydreams are about flying. Others are about the pretty girl, Gemma, who is in one of his classes. His best friend, Jake, is always there for him. Has been since they were much smaller. Jake, however, is small, and often gets bullied by Max who is definitely not small. Like all classes of 12-year olds, there is a pecking order and small people are at the bottom of that order.
One night, Will is in his room daydreaming, and he sees his tissue box move. He had randomly thought about it being closer to him, and then it was. The next day at supper he tries concentrating on his green beans, and one of them waves at him! Even in fantasy novels, waving green beans is unusual. He tells Jake about it. Jake believes him. Jake is excited about it. Jake shares his enthusiasm a bit too loudly, and Max hears. So Max makes an offer that Will cannot refuse: make something move at lunch or get beaten up after school.
Believe me, it’s a tween-boy thing. Been there, especially on the side of “do this or we’ll beat you up.” I knew a LOT of different routes to get home in order to avoid those kids.
One thing that’s different, though, is that Will does it. His carton of milk lifts off the table, floats over Jake’s head, and pours onto the floor. And so begins the adventure for four kids from an otherwise ordinary middle school. Because Gemma can shift into water. Max can control others with his voice. And Jake…well, Jake is not superpowered. But he is Will’s friend, Will’s best friend, and sometimes that gift is more important than any kind of strange ability.
There were so many things that I loved about this book. It took me back to my youthful years being mentored as a superhero at a remote glass house beside a hidden Swiss lake. OK, that didn’t happen. It did remind me, though, of my time in Junior High. Time when the bigger kids ruled the hallways. Time when girls were mysterious beings who fascinated and terrified me. Time when I sat in class daydreaming–or more often, hiding the book I was reading when I was supposed to be listening. Time when anything seemed possible when I grew up. It was amazing, it was horrible, I would never choose do it again but with the perspective of time I have forgiven or forgotten many of the most awkward and painful moments.
Moore embraces the weirdness of that age. Falling in crush. Striving to please important adults. Terrified of the big kids but more terrified of being embarrassed. Not children, not adults, sometimes wise beyond their years and sometimes breathtakingly immature. Just because these tweens have extraordinary powers does not change them from being 12 years old.
Fly is a weird and delightful fantasy that is written for tweens and for us adults who are undecided whether we want to remember or forget being that age. It embraces both how cool it would be to have a superpower, and how awkward it would also be. It celebrates the power and the weakness of pre-teens and makes a hero out of an ordinary boy. Daydreamers, never give up on flying.
Our thanks to Anne Cater of Random Things Blog Tours for our copy of Fly, given for our participation in this blog tour. The opinions here are solely those of Scintilla. For other views on this novel check out the other bloggers on this tour.
Book Review: Fly, Jacob Moore