Sometimes a great book needs its time. This is true about this one for me. I tried a couple of times to get into it and kept getting stalled at the part where Piper McCloud and her parents were at the the July 4th picnic, Piper's first social outing.
I have been told by numerous readers (including my mother!) that it is a really really good read. I conceded that they might be right since since the two copies we have in the library are always checked out. I used this as an excuse to not try it again. Truthfully, I probably still wouldn't have read it except for two things. First, a grade seven girl at the school returned a library copy and asked if I had read it. I confessed I had tried but couldn't get past the picnic. She told me that is the closest thing to boring in the book and that it got a lot more exciting after that. Second, on the very same day, Piper, a grade 3 girl at our school actually brought me her copy to read. I believe the Gods and Goddesses were trying to tell me it was this book's time for me.
I came home from work and started to read. I stopped to eat supper and clean up the kitchen afterwards. Then I went back to reading.
I apologize for not finishing this book earlier. It is indeed brilliant.
Piper McCloud's parents had been married for 25 years before Betty discovered she was pregnant. Piper arrived soon after. She seemed to be a normal baby until she started floating off her bed and around the house. Then there was a time that she floated outside the house and was carried off by a storm. Betty and Joe attempted to keep her a secret by home schooling her and keeping her away from other people. They forbade her to fly, but Piper couldn't stop herself.
Eventually she was discovered and taken to a facility called I.N.S.A.N.E. by Dr. Hellion. There she met other children who possess special powers. At first Piper was content. Soon she came to realize that things at the facility were not what they seemed and that they were all in terrible danger.
The book is brilliantly written. I have no excuse for not becoming enthralled by it earlier. The Midwestern farming setting is beautifully portrayed. All the characters, even the evil Dr. Hellion are well developed. Piper is a spunky indomitable character you can't help but admire. It is nearly impossible not to fall have in love with Conrad. I dare you to read this book and not care about all of them. Forester has created a story that has such an authentic feel to it, you can nearly believe it is real.
On the one hand this book is an engaging adventure novel. On the other it is about learning to accept who you are. It is about coming to terms with the fact that life and people are full of changes. It's about friendship and love and the power we wield when we embrace them.
I am going to be pushing this book at all the readers at the school.