Wednesday, March 07, 2007

MocK Newbery: On the Wings of Heroes by Peck

The first title I finished for the Mock Newbery is On the Wings of Heroes by Richard Peck (Specifics at the end). Note I said finished and not the first started. I'm still attempting to slog my way through Corydon and the fall of Atlantis.

When I started Wings, I had a bit of trouble getting into the book, but I was soon drawn into Peck's characters and I kept thinking just a few more pages until I find out...xyz. Of course by the time I answered that question or plot point there was something else I wanted to know so I was strung along to the end mostly in one sitting. The plot wasn't terrifically original or new, but the characters felt real and the narrator's voice rang true, though slightly old for the age in the book, excusable since it's told looking back on the events. I liked the book, but don't feel that there was anything groundbreaking about it. The ending was a lose/lose situation for Peck....if the brother dies, then it's cliche and old; if the brother comes home alive from war, then it's too neat and idyllic. I'm not going to say which happens....just that I don't think there is a way he could have made everyone happy with any ending. Personally, I have mixed feeling about the end and wish that a few of the episodes in the book got a bit more attention (like the Chicago gangsters & fake gas books or even a bit of explaining about rationing and war stamps).


Starred review in: Kirkus 01/01/07
Peck, Richard
On the Wings of Heroes
Fiction 10+
9780803730816

2 comments:

Carlie said...

This message is from Beth J. at CLTR:

When I opened the delivery of books, this title was on the top of the box. "Oh, no" I groaned inwardly, "Not another Peck book to read". Even the cover was
unappealing to me. His books are always well written, but.... do they have kid appeal? I find adults like them more than any child I have recommended his titles to. Still, when I started to read, I found myself liking these new characters, even chuckling at his homey, heartwarming humor. This was a pleasure to read. A charming tribute to a loving father.

Anonymous said...

When I opened the delivery of books, this title was on the top of the box.
"Oh, no" I groaned inwardly, "Not another Peck book to read". Even the cover was
unappealing to me. His books are always well written, but.... do they have kid
appeal? I find adults like them more than any child I have recommended his titles
to. Still, when I started to read, I found myself liking these new characters, even
chuckling at his homey, heartwarming humor. This was a pleasure to read. A charming
tribute to a loving father.

Beth/Closter