Charlie Sparrow and the Secret of Flight by David Anderson
(Summary taken from goodreads.com) "Charlie Sparrow has no idea he can fly. It’s no wonder–in Tree City, none of the birds know anything about flying at all. Not Charlie’s parents, not his friends, not the doctors or police. But Charlie is sure there’s a magical secret behind his feathers. He’ll do anything to find out what it is, even break the laws of Tree City. Will he figure out the truth before Doctor Nightingale straps him in the plucking chair and pulls the lever, plucking his beautiful feathers?"
This is a cute, fun, and easy read. The mean doctor is kind of scary, and it's kind of scary when they are going to de-feather Charlie, along with when the police raid the hide-out, but it's not over-the-top and is more just really tense. Although I wasn't a huge fan of the dad being so negative, I guess it's good to see from a parents' perspective that he just wanted his son to be safe. It reminded me of Marlin in "Nemo," when he says, "You think you can do these things, Nemo, but you can't." Both parents had good intentions, but ended up stifling their children. As a mom, it's good to remember those lessons. I loved Charlie's character, and thought it was well done. He's just like any kid: curious, active, and fun-loving. I loved that he had ideas and thought outside of the "stairs." The image of the birds hopping up stairs was definitely humorous. The best part about this book is the message it sends. Each one of us can fly and achieve our dreams if we work hard and don't let others bring us down. This is a great read-aloud or silent reading book. It would make a good base for a character-development lesson in school. I will for sure be reading this to my kids.
Rating: G (Just a little tense--almost scary--in a few parts, that's all! Clean other than that.)
Recommendation: Second grade and up for a silent read, five or six years-old and up for a read-aloud.
Disclosure: I did receive a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.