Sometimes families fracture. Divisions happen as dreams lay unfilled, or become more important than other decisions. Sometimes in the fracturing secrets lurk, pain hidden, to be revealed later. And then healing begins. It’s an interesting occurrence to observe. The Blue Wings is a tenderly written tale of two boys, one who is neurally diverse, the other with a fierce love for his older brother.
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What I am Reviewing
Reviewing The Blue Wings on behalf of Raincoast Books, I was given an ARC version of this tome written by Jef Aerts. A good middle school read containing great artwork within its 224 pages. Published by Levine Querido c/o Chronicle Books, it has been translated by Laura Watkinson.
From the cover: Two brothers bound together by affection and responsibility. Jadran is five years older than Josh and huge enough to be nicknamed Giant. Josh is younger, and smaller; but his sweet and stubborn brother thinks in a way that would be more typical of a small child. They are both dealing with changes to their newly blended, Muslim family. So Josh looks after Jadran and they both adjust. When the brothers find an injured young crane, Jadran wants to bring it back to their small apartment and teach it to fly at any cost. And it turns out the cost is high.
Details of The Blue Wings
I love the artwork I found hidden within the pages, from the crane opening each chapter, to the two page spreads scattered throughout.
Don’t you just love the detail in the illustrations? Just love these drawings. 🙂
The story is good though difficult. There are aspects to this story that are so true to life, it’s hard to read. You just know that something not so good is going to happen. In the end, it’s not all made right, which is how life is eh? BUT different pathways are laid, which leads to a family being less fractured. THAT makes for a real story.
Textually you’ll find it fits in well with middle school abilities. You’ll learn a good amount about cranes, and see how families stick together, even when life is hard and filled with change.
Should you Get it?
This is a hard one. I left The Blue Wings feeling very conflicted, I suppose that’s good though right? It means I had a gut-reaction and books that do that stick with you a while. (at least in my experience). The difficult story of boys closely linked, one with difficulties, and the other needing to figure out separation. It’s not always an easy read. But you know what? Sometimes harder reads are necessary to our growth and development.
Ergo, in the end, yes… get this book. Read it. Not just your middle schooler but YOU too! 🙂