Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Book Review: 'Wenny Has Wings' by Janet Lee Carey

✰✰✰✰✰ When eleven year old Will North wakes up in the hospital, he is confused and sad. You see, he died along with his little sister, Wenny, when a truck ran them over. He remembers dying and speeding through a tunnel towards a light. He also remembers flying through the air with Wenny. However, only Will came back. Suffering from serious injuries, Will begins to write letters to Wenny as he recuperates in the hospital. As Will uses a journal given to him by a church youth leader, he learns to express the feelings he can’t share with anyone else.

Not that anyone is listening. His parents can barely stand to look at each other let alone talk to Will. Unable to talk to his parents and friends about his near-death experience, Will finds comfort in writing to Wenny. As time passes Will writes to Wenny less and less. He returns to school and helps his friend, Gallagher Krumley, face the challenge of going through the Tunnel of Death. During this time Will’s father seems to struggle the most with Wenny’s death and his feelings of guilt. However, with a new baby on the way, the family must learn to move on while still holding Wenny’s memory dear to their hearts.
The Bottom Line: Wenny Has Wings is a beautiful story of love, loss, grief, and acceptance told in the form of letters written by the surviving sibling. Author Janet Lee Carey's writing is magical as she takes the reader through one boy’s journey to come to terms with his sister's death. Highly recommended for kids in Grades 4 and up, especially for those coping with grief and death issues. This is a very quick read. Also, highly recommended for writers looking for an excellent example of an epistolary novel. I hope to read more of Carey’s books in the future.

Details: Wenny Has Wings by Janet Lee Carey. Hardcover published by Atheneum Books in 2002. 240 p. ISBN: 0-689-84294-5

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