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Girl on the Fly

"Full of rhythm and joy, this is a delightful story of friendship and learning to accept change."

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LoveReading4Kids Says

LoveReading4Kids Says

April 2024 Debut of the Month

Philadelphia teen, Kamaria, just wants to concentrate on her and her track team friends winning the upcoming state relay championship. Kamaria is confident, loves her friends fiercely and is enjoying her first tastes of independence, but she hates change. And with lots of change on the horizon, Kamaria’s life is about to get difficult. She’s fallen out with her best friend, Odie, and she’s not sure why. When it’s announced that an aunt she barely is knows is coming to stay and will be sharing HER bedroom, things go from bad to worst. Kamaria’s life is all out of sync and she’s not sure how to get her rhythm back.

This is a charming, gentle novel that perfectly captures the early teen years; those magical years when you’re just discovering who you truly are, and your friendships are central to everything. Isdahl writes with a warmth and obvious understanding of her readers. Kamaria’s reaction to her Aunt Rose’s arrival is far from friendly or welcoming at first, but we don’t hate her for it, though uncharitable her displeasure at sharing her space is understandable. I enjoyed watching their relationship change and grow, as Aunt Rose shared her wisdom and taught Kamaria about her Tanzanian heritage.

The novel is set in 1992 and is peppered with music, sports and pop culture references that make the era come to life and adds another layer to the story. Just like Kamaria’s feet on the running track, the novel has a rhythm of its own, with a 3-part (“on your marks”, “get set”, “go”) structure and short chapters that felt like relay race bursts of energy.

Perfect for fans of Jason Reynolds and Kereen Getten, this is a well-told story of a young girl learning to embrace new experiences.

 

Join author Nansubuga Nadadya Isdahl in conversation with LoveReading4Kids editorial expert Amy McKay and two of our fabulous Reading Ambassadors, Petal and Lilly.

Amy McKay

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