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On Little Wings Hardcover – May 30, 2013

4.5 out of 5 stars 166 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 6-9-While paging through an old paperback, 16-year-old Jennifer finds a photograph of a woman with a familiar face. At first, her family won't tell her who it is, but, when pressed, her dad reveals that it's her mother's older sister, Sarah, who Jennifer didn't know existed. After recovering from this revelation, she and her best friend, Cleo, turn to detecting. Using Google and even a good old-fashioned phone book, they track down this mysterious relative. Despite her mother's vehement protests, Jennifer convinces her parents to let her visit her aunt in small-town Maine. There she soaks up the culture, hobnobbing with local eccentrics, falling in love with the ocean and with the troubled, genius next door, and participating in her aunt's tradition of reading favorite lines from poems or novels aloud each night. One of the town's charming residents, an aging former movie star known as Little, convinces Jennifer to encourage her mother to return and confront her past. Jennifer is a well-drawn teen striving to find her place in the world and adopting different identities along the way. Her adventures are compelling, but the consistent high pitch of family drama and emotion throughout make the book a little one note. The lengthy descriptive passages slow the pacing a bit, but readers who enjoy gentle romances and family secrets-perhaps those who have recently outgrown books like Suzanne LaFleur's Eight Keys (Random) and Wendy Mass's 13 Gifts (Scholastic, both 2011)-will follow Jennifer through all 400-plus pages.-Gesse Stark-Smith, Multnomah County Library, Portland, ORα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

Jennifer discovers a long-forgotten family photo of a girl who looks just like her. Her parents reveal that it is Sarah, her mother’s older sister, a woman who has never been spoken of in Jennifer’s 16 years. Determined to unravel the mystery of the sisters’ falling out, Jennifer finds Sarah and travels from her Nebraska wheat field to Smithport, her family’s ancestral home at the Maine seaside, for the summer. At first, Jennifer is a fish out of water, but she quickly adapts and becomes part of Sarah’s ad hoc family and learns much about her aunt, her mother, and herself. Although this first novel benefits from a vibrantly described setting, a compelling plot, and likable main characters, everything is overdone just enough to push it into melodrama. The language is often overwrought; Smithport’s residents all a little too quirky and charming; everyone a little too talented, brilliant, understanding, or stalwart. That said, readers seeking an emotional and evocative summer read to envelop them will be swept away. Grades 7-10. --Heather Booth
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 690L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers (August 15, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670786063
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670786060
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 6.4 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (166 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,041,140 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Regina Sirois is 90% reader and 10% writer, and as such, her loyalty lies with readers. She believes a book should do more than mildly entertain- it should change us. She graduated summa cum laude from Missouri State's Department of History and English and settled in the golden wheat fields of Kansas with her High School love. She is currently doing laundry (probably) and raising her two daughters. She fell in love the day she learned to read and cried the first time she did a word problem in math ("But it's not a problem..." sob, sob. "It's a story!"). In her debut novel, "On Little Wings," Regina Sirois holds nothing back as she dares to make us believe.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I should have posted this review two months ago. Like any good book, no like any great book, the story still hasn't left me, and I find myself logged into Amazon and sharing my recommendation long after I 'turned' the last page.

I've seen some reviews mention the author as a wordsmith, and I agree. Thunderstorms are visually beautiful and inspiring events, but Sirois uses lush poetic prose to make them a thing of art through writing. And that's just one example of the way she uses her mastery of language to inspire.

I've seen some reviews mention the plot as simplistic. I didn't need it to be complex. The characters, the setting, the writing; those were what compelled me through the story, so that I felt as much in love with Nebraska and Maine as Jennifer, the main character.

This book, and its author, are a gift, wrapped in delicious storytelling, with a beautiful cover as the bow. Don't miss it!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Oh how I loved this book! It was great writing! It was long enough to make me sit down and read for more than a couple of hours! Hurray! I desperately wanted to read, even when I was supposed to be cleaning right before the babysitter came, but I had to know what would happen before I could clean! (Don't worry the 45 minutes we had after I finished gave us time to clean the main floor) I loved the ending, I didn't feel like it was abrupt or left us hanging (too much). I also liked that there wasn't an epilogue, but a list of where we could find all of the awesome poems used in the book! I love, love, love the characters! They were all very real, with understandable hopes, dreams, frustrations... There were a lot of laugh-out-loud parts that I HAD to read to my husband! I only got tears in my eyes once, so I'm a happy camper! As for Jennifer, I hope to convince my kids that they shouldn't be interested in the opposite sex until they're at least 16! That sounds like a really good plan to me!
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Format: Paperback
"Laughing through tears" is the first thing that comes to mind. This story literally carried me through a roller coaster of emotions -from laughing out loud, to literal tears- from which I didn't want to get off. Regina Sirois provides such luscious, rich and organic descriptions for all their characters and I couldn't help but fall in love with every single one of them.

I plan to read more stories from my new favorite author.
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Format: Paperback
This book is full of human heartache that stems from the harsh realities that life brings. The pain of loss, the loss of love, mistakes made, forgiveness withheld. So many secrets that carry such a burden, as most secrets do. Jennifer finds herself in the middle of all these things without fully understanding any of it.

This is what my husband would call a full-on drama. Yes, On Little Wings was most certainly a drama. It reminded me how fragile yet strong human emotions can be. What a waste of time it is nursing hurts and grudges. So many people lose out. The writing drew me in and made me a part of every emotion surrounding Jennifer.

Jennifer's strength and determination to find answers and heal relationships is admirable. I enjoyed the journey she went on through this book. Every person she met played a part in her growth and learning. Even for all the heartache that surrounded her, in every person, there was also a little hope to be found. Thank goodness.

I loved the coastal setting in Maine. The descriptions were rich and filled my mind with such pretty pictures. I'd love to travel the coast of Maine one day.

My favorite smile moment in the book was this: "I got some Baklava, if you want some. My nephew sent it. He gets my birthday wrong every year, poor idiot."

Content wise there is some mild swearing.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Regina Sirois handles words in a way that reminds me of blowing a dandelion flower....it seems to flow so effortlessly, and yet it is almost magical in its final result. The story itself, kept me intriqued as I turned each page and gained deeper insights into characters I wanted to know and understand more and more! And if ever a writer could paint visual pictures without boring the reader, it is this author, Regina Sirois! Before you read this book, prepare yourself for the emotionally uplifting experience this story will bring into your heart. This is NOT a book to simply sit back and read. You WILL become personally involved! And when I finished, I didn't finish...which is my true test of an excellent book. I kept thinking about it, and as I did, I noticed that my heart felt lighter, my mind more enriched, and my spirit more creative for having read this heartwarming story.
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Format: Paperback
Be prepared to read this in one sitting because you will not want to put it down! In her debut book, and I hope there are more to come, Regina Sirois paints scenery and characters with the seasoned eloquence of a best selling author. Be ready to discover all that Jennifer does when she learns a family secret unveiled after sixteen years. Travel with her from the golden fields of Nebraska to the cool waters of Maine where a new family and first crush await her. No one can touch Ms. Sirois style or voice. Be prepared to love On Little Wings.
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