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How to Fly with Broken Wings

Calderdale Book of the Year, 2016

Paperback / ISBN-13: 9781444916768

Price: £6.99

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‘If Finn Maison shouts jump you jump or you are dead.’

Twelve-year-old Willem has two main aims in life: to fly and to make at least two friends of his own age. But all the other boys from the Beckham Estate do is make him jump off things. First his desk – and now the wall. As his toes teeter on the edge, Sasha Bradley gives him a tiny little wink. Might she become his friend?

Bullied by Finn and his gang the Beckham Estate Boyz, Willem has no choice but to jump. As he flies through the air he flaps his arms, wishing he could fly and escape into the clouds. Instead he comes crashing down and breaks his ankle.

Sasha, angry with herself for not stopping Finn and his Boyz, is determined to put things right. And soon, while the gangs riot on their estate, Willem and Sasha form an unlikely friendship. Because they share a secret. Sasha longs to fly too.

And when Magic Man Archie arrives with stories of war-flying spitfires, he will change the lives of the kids on the Beckham Estate for ever. And perhaps find a way for Willem and Sasha to fly …

Touching on themes such as friendship and bullying, this is a charming tale about overcoming obstacles and finding friendship in unlikely places.

‘heart-rending, heartbreaking and heartening’ The Best New Children’s Books Guardian Supplement


This is a stunner from Jane Elson ... I love this book for its believably written and diverse crew of characters.
Rhino Reads
a wonderful, hopeful, uplifting read.
Peters eGazette
A nuanced and serious story...Author Jane Elson won much applause for her debut, A Room Full of Chocolate, and you can see why
The Observer
Heart-rending, heartbreaking and heartening
The Best New Children's Books 2015
A very moving story, you may need to keep some tissues handy!
Primary Times
There is courage, friendship of various kinds, learning how to understand people and how to handle life's ups and downs, for adults as well as young people in this book.
School Librarian
Nuanced and serious
The Observer
...wonderful, eminently readable
Lindy Springett, Dyslexia Association of Bexley, Bromley, Greenwich & Lewisham
Jane Elson's second book doesn't disappoint and raises the profile [of] Asperger's in this heart felt tale of friendship, fear and flying ...Touching on themes such as friendship and bullying, this is a lovely tale about overcoming obstacles and finding friendship in unlikely places
The Codpast