Born to Fly by Michael Ferrari

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Born to Fly tells the story of eleven-year-old tomboy Bird McGill. Ever since she can remember, Bird has loved flying in small propeller airplanes with her mechanic dad. When the local airstrip is turned into a military flight school, Bird is in heaven. But when a young Japanese American student named Kenji Fujita joins Bird’s class, the entire school seems to be convinced that he’s a spy, or at the very least, that he and his uncle want the Japanese to win. Bird is wary of Kenji, not just because he’s Japanese, but because he steals her flight-related topic for a school report and leaves her to write about the deadly boring local marsh weed. But on Bird’s first trip to the marsh, she and Kenji accidentally discover real spy activity in the area. Bird realizes that Kenji is actually a stand-up guy—and she and Kenji begin an adventure that will shake the town and may even change the future of the United States.

Winner of the Dell Yearling Contest

From the Hardcover edition.

About Michael Ferrari

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Michael Ferrari lives in Avon Lake, Ohio, where he is a teacher. Born to Fly is his first novel.
Published July 1, 2009 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers. 226 pages
Genres: Children's Books, Literature & Fiction, Action & Adventure. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Born to Fly

Kirkus Reviews

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Middle-grade readers of either gender looking for suspenseful historical fiction won’t notice that the combination of events adds up to an unlikely story, but they will enjoy Bird’s flight.

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Publishers Weekly

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Ferrari's novel, which won the Delacorte Yearling Prize for debut middle-grade authors, takes readers on a high-flying, nail-biting historical adventure that is uplifting and just good fun.

Jul 13 2009 | Read Full Review of Born to Fly


Michael Ferrari tackles some difficult themes in his debut novel, including tolerance, bigotry, courage and honor, and does so with honesty and sincerity, allowing the reader to share Bird’s challenges right alongside her.

Mar 08 2011 | Read Full Review of Born to Fly

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