Athan Wilde lives with his family- mother, grandmother and two sisters. By night, he explores the rooftops of the city with his friend, Tod; by day, he works for Mr Chen, an inventor, and dreams of flying. When Mr Chen is brutally murdered, Athan realises that people are searching for the plans for Mr Chen’s flying machine and that he must discover them and complete the machine before someone else does. Sinister villains lurk at every turn in this dark and dangerous mystery.
Fleur has done it again, writing another gripping adventure for those children needing a challenging read at the top of KS2 and into KS3. Never one to avoid a difficult issue, Fleur does not shy away from the violence of the time nor the dark nature of some of those involved.
Loyalty and courage are at the heart of ‘The Boy Who Flew’. Coming from a poor family who are struggling to make ends meet, Athan works hard to support them, yet wants more from life than the job of a night soilman. He is devoted to his sisters, patiently minding Beatty, his younger sister who has lost the use of her legs, and helping his gentle older sister, Polly, whenever he can. His grandmother is a loathsome crone, vicious and harsh towards the children and Athan tries to protect his siblings from her as much as he can. Tod is also a wonderful character, who suffers at the hands of his father, yet remains loyal and supportive to Athan. In Blade, Fleur has really captured the essence of evil, creating a character without empathy who it is very easy to detest. As he infests Athan’s home, the tension in the story becomes almost unbearable. Athan’s loyalty to Mr Chen, his memory and his work lead him on his quest for justice which he hopes will free his family from poverty as well.
The story is full of rich descriptions- particularly the rooftop sections- and Athan’s world is brought vividly to life. Not for the faint-hearted, ‘The Boy who Flew’ is a gritty, challenging read full of twists and turns with an ultimately satisfying conclusion.
The Boy Who Flew Fleur Hitchcock
Nosy Crow ISBN: 978-1788004381