Book Review: The Simple Art Of Flying by Cory Leonardo

Posted 4 March, 2019 by Molly(Cover To Cover Cafe) in 2019 Reads, Book Reviews / 2 Comments

Book Review: The Simple Art Of Flying by Cory Leonardo
Title: The Simple Art of Flying
Author: Cory Leonardo
Published by Aladdin
Date Published: 12 February, 2019
Pages: 256
Genres: Children's Fiction, Middle Grade
Format: Print ARC
Purchase: Amazon~ B&N~ Walmart~Book Depository
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Rating: four-stars

Quirky characters, plucky humor, and a heartwarming message come together in this big-hearted debut novel about friendship and the true meaning of family.

Sometimes flying means keeping your feet on the ground…

Born in a dismal room in a pet store, Alastair the African grey parrot dreams of escape to bluer skies. He’d like nothing more than to fly away to a palm tree with his beloved sister, Aggie. But when Aggie is purchased by twelve-year-old Fritz, and Alastair is adopted by elderly dance-enthusiast and pie-baker Albertina Plopky, the future looks ready to crash-land.

In-between anxiously plucking his feathers, eating a few books, and finding his own poetic voice, Alastair plots his way to a family reunion. But soon he’s forced to choose between the life he’s always dreamed of and admitting the truth: that sometimes, the bravest adventure is in letting go.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Aladdin and was under no obligation to post a review, positive or negative.

First, can we just take a minute to talk about this cover? It’s absolutely adorable! I love the birds, and the books, and the colors. That alone would pull me into the book. Second, can I just tell you that I wish we had books like this when I was a kid! Don’t get me wrong, Beverly Cleary, Ramona Quimby, The Baby Sitters Club, and a few others were awesome. But, books like TSAOF would have been happily devoured then, too!

I absolutely adored Alastair. I’m not a fan of birds, but it they were all like Alastair I would have a dozen! I loved his curmudgeon quirkiness, and his ability to pull you into the story, along with his sister Aggie. His poetry was awesome and captivating! And, Fritz. Let me tell you what. I saw a lot of my own kiddos in Fritz. He was just lovable. And, Bertie! The perfect “grandma” for the story. I loved her laugh-out-loud moments in the story.

This debut novel by the amazingly talented Cory Leonardo is one that should be on every young reader’s shelves. It’s filled with life lessons, lots of laughter, characters who will become friends, and lots of fun. If you have a younger reader, age 8 and up, I would definitely recommend you get this for them. It’s worthy of 4 stars, for sure! Great job on your debut, Leonardo!

About Cory Leonardo

Cory Leonardo grew up believing she’d replace Vanna White on Wheel of Fortune, but when that didn’t work out, she decided she’d turn letters and phrases in a different way (but minus the glittery dresses, sadly). A born and bred upstate New Yorker, she currently lives in the Syracuse area with her husband and three plucky children. Cory was selected and mentored in Brenda Drake’s Pitch Wars 2016 and has been an active SCBWI member for the past five years. The Simple Art of Flying/Call Me Alastair is her first novel.

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