If These Wings Could Fly

Kyrie McCauley. HarperCollins/Tegen, $17.99 (400p) ISBN 978-0-06-288502-9
McCauley makes a moving debut with this hard-hitting novel set in a small, tightly knit town. In Auburn, Pa., crows are gathering by the thousands, rendering the world outside as surreal as the one behind closed doors in 17-year-old Leighton’s house. Her gun-toting father is becoming increasingly violent and abusive, though the house magically repairs itself every time he leaves cracks in the walls, and Leighton fears for the safety of her mother and two younger sisters. Mean- while, she grows concerned for the crows’ wellbeing, treating one like a pet and even feeling affection toward them, while angry townspeople are desperate to rid the town of them. In the midst of the chaos, Leighton falls in love with football player Liam, whose home life appears comfortingly normal amid his struggles growing up black in a nearly all-white community. Though Leighton feels safe when she’s with Liam, going out with him means leaving her family unprotected—as would heading to college. McCauley develops convincing, sympathetic characters while building tension that underscores the precariousness of Leighton’s situation. While the book doesn’t shy away from raw depictions of domestic abuse, the love and warmth exuding from Leighton’s sisters, Liam, and his kindhearted family soften the story’s sharp edges. Ages 13–up. Agent: Suzie Townsend, New Leaf Media & Literary. (Mar.)
Reviewed on : 01/30/2020
Release date: 03/01/2020
Genre: Children's
Ebook - 400 pages - 978-0-06-288504-3
MP3 CD - 978-1-0941-1570-2
Compact Disc - 978-1-0941-1569-6
Compact Disc - 978-1-0941-1568-9
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Audio book sample courtesy of HarperAudio
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