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Falling Boy

by

Falling Boy Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

"Did you really rescue your mother from a fate worse than death on a cliff overlooking the sea?"

After a mysterious accident left him paralyzed, sixteen-year-old Joseph finds himself living with his father in Minneapolis and working hot summer days in a bakery. What happened to the life he used to live? How did he come to be here? Although they approach the mystery in different ways, two people in Joseph's new life — seventeen-year-old Zap, who also works in the bakery, and Enzo, a fierce and funny nine-year-old girl — both want to find out.

"Are you really a superhero?" whispers Enzo, who secretly longs for her world to be transformed. "Please be a superhero."

Stoically quiet, Joseph has never thought of himself as a superhero, especially now that he is in a wheelchair and can't feel his legs. But others disagree. Who is the hero? Who is the enemy? Is redemption possible, and if so, where is it to be found? In Alison McGhee's strange and powerful Falling Boy, a small band of tough kids turn the myth of the superhero inside out as they face down the shadows of childhood.

Review:

"A late adolescence of fierce, sweet turmoil provides the inspiration for McGhee (Shadow Baby), who also writes YA novels. His legs recently paralyzed in an accident, 16-year-old, wheelchair-bound Joseph works in a Minneapolis bakery with Zap, a boy of 17, and is pelted with questions by Enzo, a girl of nine whom no one seems to be looking after. After the accident, Joseph left upstate New York and his troubled mother to live with a father he barely knows. Enzo, who desperately wants Joseph to be a superhero hurt performing a feat of derring-do, persists in trying to unravel the accident's mystery. Mai, a lovely teenage girl with a growing crush on Joseph, and her younger brother, Cha (who is locked in an interior world of his own, add to the mix. McGhee renders their insular world delicately, but the narrative gets saturated with that world's atmosphere, and the characters often come across as too young for their years. Readers willing to suspend some disbelief will be charmed by McGhee's tender and affecting coming-of-age tale." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"McGhee captures the special brand of homesickness felt in the flatlands by people who come from more varied terrain." Minneapolis Star Tribune

Review:

"[O]ffers compelling evidence that McGhee...is a writer to watch." Chicago Sun-Times

Review:

"Well-placed flashbacks are used as tools to tell the story of Joseph's accident....If McGhee is teaching a lesson with this book, she does it gently and provides much material for discussion, either in the classroom or in an informal setting." VOYA

Review:

"McGhee is a gifted writer, but clever word play and a plethora of pointed metaphors are not enough to bring her fictional world to life." Kirkus Reviews

Synopsis:

"Did you really rescue your mother from a fate worse than death on a cliff overlooking the sea?"

 

After a mysterious accident left him paralyzed, sixteen-year-old Joseph finds himself living with his father in Minneapolis and working hot summer days in a bakery. What happened to the life he used to live? How did he come to be here? Although they approach the mystery in different ways, two people in Joseph's new life--seventeen-year-old Zap, who also works in the bakery, and Enzo, a fierce and funny nine-year-old girl--both want to find out.

 

"Are you really a superhero?" whispers Enzo, who secretly longs for her world to be transformed. "Please be a superhero."

 

Stoically quiet, Joseph has never thought of himself as a superhero, especially now that he is in a wheelchair and can't feel his legs. But others disagree. Who is the hero? Who is the enemy? Is redemption possible, and if so, where is it to be found? In Alison McGhee's strange and powerful Falling Boy, a small band of tough kids turn the myth of the superhero inside out as they face down the shadows of childhood.

Synopsis:

"Did you really rescue your mother from a fate worse than death on a cliff overlooking the sea?"

 

After a mysterious accident left him paralyzed, sixteen-year-old Joseph finds himself living with his father in Minneapolis and working hot summer days in a bakery. What happened to the life he used to live? How did he come to be here? Although they approach the mystery in different ways, two people in Joseph's new life--seventeen-year-old Zap, who also works in the bakery, and Enzo, a fierce and funny nine-year-old girl--both want to find out.

 

"Are you really a superhero?" whispers Enzo, who secretly longs for her world to be transformed. "Please be a superhero."

 

Stoically quiet, Joseph has never thought of himself as a superhero, especially now that he is in a wheelchair and can't feel his legs. But others disagree. Who is the hero? Who is the enemy? Is redemption possible, and if so, where is it to be found? In Alison McGhee's strange and powerful Falling Boy, a small band of tough kids turn the myth of the superhero inside out as they face down the shadows of childhood.

Alison McGhee is the author of Rainlight, Was It Beautiful?, and the NBC Today show's Today's Book Club pick Shadow Baby. She also writes books for young adults and children. Her short fiction and poetry have been published widely in literary magazines.
An American Library Association Best Books for Young Adults Nominee
A Chicago Tribune Favorite Book of the Year
A Minnesota Book Award Finalist
 
"Did you really rescue your mother from a fate worse than death on a cliff overlooking the sea?"
 
After a mysterious accident left him paralyzed, sixteen-year-old Joseph finds himself living with his father in Minneapolis and working hot summer days in a bakery. What happened to the life he used to live? How did he come to be here? Although they approach the mystery in different ways, two people in Joseph's new life—seventeen-year-old Zap, who also works in the bakery, and Enzo, a fierce and funny nine-year-old girl—both want to find out.
 
"Are you really a superhero?" whispers Enzo, who secretly longs for her world to be transformed. "Please be a superhero."
 
Stoically quiet, Joseph has never thought of himself as a superhero, especially now that he is in a wheelchair and can't feel his legs. But others disagree. Who is the hero? Who is the enemy? Is redemption possible, and if so, where is it to be found? In Alison McGhee's strange and powerful Falling Boy, a small band of tough kids turn the myth of the superhero inside out as they face down the shadows of childhood.
"Alison McGhee treats her characters generously and kindly, inviting us to fall in love with them, and it is an offer we cannot refuse. Sometimes a whisper commands more attention than a yell, and this book is such an urgent whisper: beautiful, moving, delicate, and wise."—Andrew Solomon, author of The Noonday Demon
"Alison McGhee is a voice channeler. You picture her going into a trance and writing in tongues . . . It's not until the end of the novel that we learn, after Joseph has peeled back layers, clouds and all forms of magical thinking, what really happened. It takes enormous restraint and careful planning for McGhee to lead us through the labyrinth of Joseph's mind. We want nothing but happiness for him and Enzo and Zap. And we want it badly."—Susan Salter Reynolds, Los Angeles Times Book Review
 
"Alison McGhee treats her characters generously and kindly, inviting us to fall in love with them, and it is an offer we cannot refuse. Sometimes a whisper commands more attention than a yell, and this book is such an urgent whisper: beautiful, moving, delicate, and wise."—Andrew Solomon, author of The Noonday Demon
 
"Alison McGhee puzzles together the fractured world of a paraplegic teenager in this odd, beguiling novel filled with odd, beguiling characters. Irresistible and entirely satisfying."—Pete Hautman, author of the National Book Award-winning novel Godless
 
"Alison McGhee spins a tale of mystery and magic with a true hero. We can learn from this one."—Judith Guest, author of Ordinary People
 
"'Please be a superhero. Please,' says 9-year-old Enzo to 16-year-old Joseph. Wheelchair bound after an accident he rarely discusses, Joseph works in a Minneapolis bakery where Enzo spends her summer days. Zap, the 17-year-old son of the bakery's owner, holds court at the pastry counter, sparring with Enzo and spinning tales about Joseph, turning the paraplegic teenager into a flying, mythical hero. McGhee, whose previous books include Shadow Baby, returns to familiar themes in this story of children and young adults trying to piece together a workable life despite the absent and ineffectual adults who surround them. McGhee unveils her story at a dreamlike pace, and she weighs her characters with so much secrecy and mannered speech that impatient readers may feel distanced. The unusual dialogue, though, sets an almost magical, hallucinatory tone that will ultimately pull readers into deeper themes of love and obligation, failure and rescue, and into the personal stories, false and true, that order the world and, when shared, bring redemption."—Booklist
 
"Loss affects our lives profoundly. Most of us ponder such things from an adult perspective, we with the power to heal or hurt, but here Alison McGhee looks at loss through the eyes of children who have not yet made their place in the world, still struggling for definition from their surroundings and the people around them . . . McGhee taps into the enduring spirit of childhood, these unlikely friendships a balm to the brutality of life."—Curled Up With A Good Book 

About the Author

Alison McGhee is the author of Rainlight, Was It Beautiful?, and the NBC Today show's Today's Book Club pick Shadow Baby. She also writes books for young adults and children. Her short fiction and poetry have been published widely in literary magazines.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780312425920
Subtitle:
A Novel
Author:
McGhee, Alison
Publisher:
Picador
Subject:
General
Subject:
Teenagers
Subject:
Minneapolis (minn.)
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
FIC043000
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Accident victims
Subject:
Coming of age
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
20070220
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
208
Dimensions:
8.27 x 5.71 x 0.65 in
Age Level:
Coming of Age

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Falling Boy Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$0.99 In Stock
Product details 208 pages Picador USA - English 9780312425920 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "A late adolescence of fierce, sweet turmoil provides the inspiration for McGhee (Shadow Baby), who also writes YA novels. His legs recently paralyzed in an accident, 16-year-old, wheelchair-bound Joseph works in a Minneapolis bakery with Zap, a boy of 17, and is pelted with questions by Enzo, a girl of nine whom no one seems to be looking after. After the accident, Joseph left upstate New York and his troubled mother to live with a father he barely knows. Enzo, who desperately wants Joseph to be a superhero hurt performing a feat of derring-do, persists in trying to unravel the accident's mystery. Mai, a lovely teenage girl with a growing crush on Joseph, and her younger brother, Cha (who is locked in an interior world of his own, add to the mix. McGhee renders their insular world delicately, but the narrative gets saturated with that world's atmosphere, and the characters often come across as too young for their years. Readers willing to suspend some disbelief will be charmed by McGhee's tender and affecting coming-of-age tale." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "McGhee captures the special brand of homesickness felt in the flatlands by people who come from more varied terrain."
"Review" by , "[O]ffers compelling evidence that McGhee...is a writer to watch."
"Review" by , "Well-placed flashbacks are used as tools to tell the story of Joseph's accident....If McGhee is teaching a lesson with this book, she does it gently and provides much material for discussion, either in the classroom or in an informal setting."
"Review" by , "McGhee is a gifted writer, but clever word play and a plethora of pointed metaphors are not enough to bring her fictional world to life."
"Synopsis" by ,
"Did you really rescue your mother from a fate worse than death on a cliff overlooking the sea?"

 

After a mysterious accident left him paralyzed, sixteen-year-old Joseph finds himself living with his father in Minneapolis and working hot summer days in a bakery. What happened to the life he used to live? How did he come to be here? Although they approach the mystery in different ways, two people in Joseph's new life--seventeen-year-old Zap, who also works in the bakery, and Enzo, a fierce and funny nine-year-old girl--both want to find out.

 

"Are you really a superhero?" whispers Enzo, who secretly longs for her world to be transformed. "Please be a superhero."

 

Stoically quiet, Joseph has never thought of himself as a superhero, especially now that he is in a wheelchair and can't feel his legs. But others disagree. Who is the hero? Who is the enemy? Is redemption possible, and if so, where is it to be found? In Alison McGhee's strange and powerful Falling Boy, a small band of tough kids turn the myth of the superhero inside out as they face down the shadows of childhood.

"Synopsis" by ,
"Did you really rescue your mother from a fate worse than death on a cliff overlooking the sea?"

 

After a mysterious accident left him paralyzed, sixteen-year-old Joseph finds himself living with his father in Minneapolis and working hot summer days in a bakery. What happened to the life he used to live? How did he come to be here? Although they approach the mystery in different ways, two people in Joseph's new life--seventeen-year-old Zap, who also works in the bakery, and Enzo, a fierce and funny nine-year-old girl--both want to find out.

 

"Are you really a superhero?" whispers Enzo, who secretly longs for her world to be transformed. "Please be a superhero."

 

Stoically quiet, Joseph has never thought of himself as a superhero, especially now that he is in a wheelchair and can't feel his legs. But others disagree. Who is the hero? Who is the enemy? Is redemption possible, and if so, where is it to be found? In Alison McGhee's strange and powerful Falling Boy, a small band of tough kids turn the myth of the superhero inside out as they face down the shadows of childhood.

Alison McGhee is the author of Rainlight, Was It Beautiful?, and the NBC Today show's Today's Book Club pick Shadow Baby. She also writes books for young adults and children. Her short fiction and poetry have been published widely in literary magazines.
An American Library Association Best Books for Young Adults Nominee
A Chicago Tribune Favorite Book of the Year
A Minnesota Book Award Finalist
 
"Did you really rescue your mother from a fate worse than death on a cliff overlooking the sea?"
 
After a mysterious accident left him paralyzed, sixteen-year-old Joseph finds himself living with his father in Minneapolis and working hot summer days in a bakery. What happened to the life he used to live? How did he come to be here? Although they approach the mystery in different ways, two people in Joseph's new life—seventeen-year-old Zap, who also works in the bakery, and Enzo, a fierce and funny nine-year-old girl—both want to find out.
 
"Are you really a superhero?" whispers Enzo, who secretly longs for her world to be transformed. "Please be a superhero."
 
Stoically quiet, Joseph has never thought of himself as a superhero, especially now that he is in a wheelchair and can't feel his legs. But others disagree. Who is the hero? Who is the enemy? Is redemption possible, and if so, where is it to be found? In Alison McGhee's strange and powerful Falling Boy, a small band of tough kids turn the myth of the superhero inside out as they face down the shadows of childhood.
"Alison McGhee treats her characters generously and kindly, inviting us to fall in love with them, and it is an offer we cannot refuse. Sometimes a whisper commands more attention than a yell, and this book is such an urgent whisper: beautiful, moving, delicate, and wise."—Andrew Solomon, author of The Noonday Demon
"Alison McGhee is a voice channeler. You picture her going into a trance and writing in tongues . . . It's not until the end of the novel that we learn, after Joseph has peeled back layers, clouds and all forms of magical thinking, what really happened. It takes enormous restraint and careful planning for McGhee to lead us through the labyrinth of Joseph's mind. We want nothing but happiness for him and Enzo and Zap. And we want it badly."—Susan Salter Reynolds, Los Angeles Times Book Review
 
"Alison McGhee treats her characters generously and kindly, inviting us to fall in love with them, and it is an offer we cannot refuse. Sometimes a whisper commands more attention than a yell, and this book is such an urgent whisper: beautiful, moving, delicate, and wise."—Andrew Solomon, author of The Noonday Demon
 
"Alison McGhee puzzles together the fractured world of a paraplegic teenager in this odd, beguiling novel filled with odd, beguiling characters. Irresistible and entirely satisfying."—Pete Hautman, author of the National Book Award-winning novel Godless
 
"Alison McGhee spins a tale of mystery and magic with a true hero. We can learn from this one."—Judith Guest, author of Ordinary People
 
"'Please be a superhero. Please,' says 9-year-old Enzo to 16-year-old Joseph. Wheelchair bound after an accident he rarely discusses, Joseph works in a Minneapolis bakery where Enzo spends her summer days. Zap, the 17-year-old son of the bakery's owner, holds court at the pastry counter, sparring with Enzo and spinning tales about Joseph, turning the paraplegic teenager into a flying, mythical hero. McGhee, whose previous books include Shadow Baby, returns to familiar themes in this story of children and young adults trying to piece together a workable life despite the absent and ineffectual adults who surround them. McGhee unveils her story at a dreamlike pace, and she weighs her characters with so much secrecy and mannered speech that impatient readers may feel distanced. The unusual dialogue, though, sets an almost magical, hallucinatory tone that will ultimately pull readers into deeper themes of love and obligation, failure and rescue, and into the personal stories, false and true, that order the world and, when shared, bring redemption."—Booklist
 
"Loss affects our lives profoundly. Most of us ponder such things from an adult perspective, we with the power to heal or hurt, but here Alison McGhee looks at loss through the eyes of children who have not yet made their place in the world, still struggling for definition from their surroundings and the people around them . . . McGhee taps into the enduring spirit of childhood, these unlikely friendships a balm to the brutality of life."—Curled Up With A Good Book 

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