Summary: The Flyers
Four girls from different backgrounds are selected to become “The Flyers” for Spread Your Wings Magazine. Elena is a shy Latina who lives in her best friend’s shadow and is uncomfortable about the pubescent changes in her body. Harlow is a Japanese-American wannabe journalist, Cailin, a young influencer, and Whitney, a Black fashionista who secretly has panic attacks. The girls spend a week in New York City together than bonds them as friends and gives them the courage to find their voices.
I really liked this story. I lived vicariously through the girls’ adventures in NYC and I loved the fact that Elena was a writer. More books with writer protagonists, please! As it is with meeting any new people, all four girls learn that there is more to each of the other girls and it helps them grow closer to each other.
Elena is best friends with Summer back home, but Summer seems to be outgrowing Elena and their friendship. Elena is also really shy and so maybe clings to that friendship a bit too tightly, but I thought Summer was unkind to her, regardless. And perhaps my only critique of this book would be the idea that Summer’s struggles excused her behavior.
Still, the best parts of this story are in New York City as the girls enjoy photo shoots, dinners, trips to parks, and work together to create their editorial letter for the magazine. I also liked hearing Cailin’s perspective on being an influencer at 12 and seeing how the author portrayed Whitney’s panic attacks in a sensitive manner.
Overall: The Flyers
The Flyers is a FUN, introspective middle grade book about the love of writing and the complexity of female friendships. It deals a lot with finding your voice when you’re painfully shy and gaining the courage to stand up for yourself. Set in NYC at a tween magazine internship of sorts, this book is perfect for kids who like to write, fans of books set in NYC, and readers who enjoy seeing a diverse group of strong female protagonists.