cover image Just Fly Away

Just Fly Away

Andrew McCarthy. Algonquin Young Readers, $17.95 (272p) ISBN 978-1-61620-629-1

Fifteen-year-old Lucy Willows is blindsided when she learns that she has an eight-year-old half brother, Thomas, a product of her father’s infidelity. Overwhelmed by her father’s past actions and her mother’s calm acceptance of them, Lucy goes into a tailspin and begins thinking that every young boy she sees could be Thomas. When she tracks him down and her father finds out, she takes off, seeking refuge with her estranged grandfather. Welcomed by him, Lucy finds comfort and begins to accept the hard truth that parents are fallible. In his first book for teens, actor and author McCarthy (The Longest Way Home) sensitively explores the difficult process of learning to accept loved ones despite their shortcomings, although Lucy’s inner thoughts can feel restrained and overly mature at times. Through discussions with her grandfather, Lucy begins to see her father as a complicated individual with a history that includes joy, sadness, successes, and mistakes. Readers will appreciate the honest conversations between Lucy and her family, which underscore the importance of communication to foster connection and understanding. Ages 14–up. Agent: David Patterson, Stuart Krichevsky Agency. [em](Mar.) [/em]