Wings

by Christopher Myers

Everyone stares at the new boy who has just moved onto the block. Ikarus Jackson... read more

Everyone stares at the new boy who has just moved onto the block. Ikarus Jackson seems plenty different, that’s for certain. He flies above the rooftops, “swooping and diving, looping past people’s windows.” At school, everyone notices him, too. They joke about his “long, strong, proud wings,” his unusual hair, and his shoes. One classmate seems to understand him. Cruel kids have whispered about her, too, making her feel lonely, even strange. Watching what is happening to Ikarus, she summons the courage to break her own silence. The spare, poetic words of this observant, sympathetic narrator build suspense. Myers’s exciting cut‑paper collage art brings wonder to his fully original, dynamic, beautifully designed story, which is loosely based on the Greek myth about Icarus. “Wings” was primarily inspired by the youthful experiences of the writer/artist, who says he was tall for his age. He stood out among his peers for that reason, and also because he preferred to draw rather than do what tall boys are supposed to enjoy. His captivating picture book set in today’s urban landscape is peopled with kids whose responses to Ikarus may raise the question of how anyone handles meeting a person who seems different. Honor Book, 2001 Charlotte Zolotow Award; Honor Book, CCBC 2001 Caldecott Award Discussion ; Honor Book CCBC 2001 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Discussion (Ages 5‑11)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2001

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