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Girls Don't Fly Hardcover – October 13, 2011

4.4 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"... the depiction of small-town dynamics, high-school breakups, crappy after-school jobs, and Myra's growing desire to break free from limited expectations is both fresh and relatable." — Horn Book, October 1, 2011

"The protagonist is a delightfully spunky teen whose witticisms will keep readers laughing, and her deeply felt connection to her family ... will leave them with watery eyes. Fans of Sarah Dessen will want to grab this one." — School Library Journal, January 2011

"Mixing ecological facts and humor, Chandler does a brilliant job of creating a very real world..." — IndieBound, Vivian Evans, the King's English, Salt Lake City, UT

About the Author

Kristen Chandler (krischandrstories.com) has been a ranch hand, waitress, salesperson, ice cream store manager, secretary, free lance journalist, and college writing instructor. She lives outside Salt Lake City, Utah with her four children, two cats and a bad dog.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 590L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers (October 13, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670013315
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670013319
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,622,106 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By John Rogers ClarkIV on December 28, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Myra's made a career of meeting everyone else's needs. She has an older sister who just discovered she's pregnant and four younger brothers who she gets stuck ferrying around a lot because her dad is an engineer and her mom cleans at night to help make ends meet. The only really good thing she has going for her is Erik, her boyfriend of almost two years.
When he dumps her, supposedly because he needs 'space', it knocks her world off kilter, but then things get even worse. Melyssa, her pregnant sister, gets in a fight with her boyfriend Zack and drops out of college, moving home. Goodbye to any hope of peace and personal space.
Just when it looks like everything is going down the tubes, Myra is encouraged to compete for a scholarship that would send her on a trip to the Galapagos Islands to research a topic she chooses relating to the unique life there. There are some challenges in her way, though. Erik is also after one of the two slots, she has to come up with a realistic research topic and she has to raise $1,000 in order to be considered.
Unfortunately, she and Erik work at the same ice cream place and, when he screws up an order and refuses to accept responsibility, she quits even though jobs are hard to get. After a disastrous experience wearing a chicken costume outside a fast food joint that lasts one shift, Myra gets a break. She's hired to work as a receptionist at the marina where she's also taking a Saturday class to help her prepare for the scholarship competition. She discovers that she likes the routine involved with straightening up and organizing the office. It doesn't hurt that she's working with Pete, the graduate student who is teaching her class.
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Format: Audio CD
This book reminds me of some of Sarah Dessen's books in that it deals with family issues and one's place in the world. Themes of learning to adapt, life without change being boring and recognizing what is valuable before it is taken away make up the bulk of this story.

Being part of a large family myself, I could identify with a lot of what Myra experienced. She is part of a family with six children, an engineer dad, a working mom, and a "knocked up" older sister in a low income home. Myra carries a huge burden in helping out at home with making dinner, cleaning, watching the boys and carpooling. Her sister Melissa does not seem to have to carry this same burden for some reason. Myra's "perfect" rich boyfriend, Eric has broken up with her and she has decided to compete for a scholarship to the Galapagos Islands. Myra is the grease that makes everyone and everything go smoothly without ever drawing attention to her and people/teachers are not aware of her abilities and neither, really is she. Until this year.

Myra has a keen desire to get out of her small town and spread her own wings. While studying for her project, Myra gets to know about a flightless bird with whom she can identify. She and the reader get to learn a lot about birds which Myra gets really excited about (this reader, less so). With the encouragement of her surprised teacher and new attraction Pete, Myra starts to come out of her "doormat" personality and starts to make dreams of her own.

This book contains lots of environmental opinions, criticism of Christianity and of hypocritical Mormons, evolutional theories and feminist ideals which would be great to discuss with your teen after reading this selection.

I listened to the audiobook version read nicely by Becca Battoe.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I thought Myra was a character who was easy to relate to. Her story rang true and reminded me of many of the feelings, doubts and insecurities I remember having in high school. The story was a cute, quirky coming of age, contemporary family drama.

Set outside Salt Lake City, UT and written by an LDS author I expected this to be LDS fiction but it was not. This could have been a book set in any town, anywhere. Other than a mention or two of the religious kids who went to church on Sunday there was no mention of anything about Mormons in this book.

Each chapter begins with a tidbit of knowledge about birds that ties into that chapter. Very clever.

Girls Don’t Fly was an enjoyable, quick read.

Rating: 4 Stars – Great Book

Content: Some language

Source: Review Copy
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Format: Hardcover
I enjoyed Kristen Chandler's "Girls Don't Fly". At first when I started the book I wasn't sure if I would like it - I was reading about awful high school drama and the hopelessness of teenagers who are stuck at home taking care of their family. I felt bad for Myra (the main character) as she went to school and took care of her rowdy younger brothers, while her "perfect" boyfriend dumped her and competed against her to win a trip to the Galapagos Islands. But as the story developed I found myself enjoying it more and more as I read about Myra taking a hilarious and embarrassing job (wearing a disgusting chicken suit), getting tackled while being filmed, and eventually reaching her goals.
Kristen Chandler did a great job at making the story relatable to her readers. Most of us have suffered through high school and the drama associated with it. I myself have pushed myself through school and challenged myself quite often, so I can relate with Myra's efforts to study and earn money for the trip. From the start of the book Chandler gets the reader interested to see if Myra could make it to the Galapagos Islands. Then you want to know how Myra will deal with her ex-boyfriend and if she can beat him in the scholarship application. By the end of the story the reader is excited for Myra to win and wants to read about her trip to the Galapagos Islands. Kristen Chandler did a great job of keeping the book interesting by relating the story to the reader's life.
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