cover image We’ll Fly Away

We’ll Fly Away

Bryan Bliss. Greenwillow, $17.99 (416p) ISBN 978-0-06-249427-6

Before Luke ended up on death row, he and his best friend Toby dreamed of escaping rural North Carolina in a beat-up crop duster that they discovered in a wooded area. Alternating between third-person chronicles of Luke and Toby’s senior year of high school and Luke’s letters to his friend from behind bars, Bliss weaves together a compelling and raw story. Luke was a wrestling champion with a mother who wasn’t responsible enough to get to work or feed her family. Toby was a smart kid hiding the bruises from his abusive and drunk father. With hard-hitting authenticity, Bliss conveys both the typical dilemmas of adolescence as well as the more sobering and life-altering moments that Toby and Luke are unfairly forced to confront. At its core, Bliss’s story is a meditation on choices—including the momentary lapses of judgment that can derail whole lives, raising the question of whether a single event can or should define an individual. A powerful story of loyalty, betrayal, and crippling family dysfunction. Ages 14–up. [em](May) [/em]