Cover Image: The Year I Flew Away

The Year I Flew Away

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Member Reviews

This was a heartfelt debut story of a first generation ten-year-old girl named Gabrielle who immigrates to America from Haiti all by herself. She faces not only a new language to get used to, but the looks, laughs, and not-so-kind words from kids at her school. She did not imagine that her dream place to live would make her doubt herself and get involved with an evil witch to fix it all. Twisted with a bit of magic, this story is one that many readers can easily relate to.
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Reading this felt like reading two separate books. In the first half of the book, there was magic that followed a somewhat logical pattern. Gabrielle, having moved to the US from Haiti, longs to be accepted and makes a deal with a witch for three wishes. Each wish takes something from her. What I liked: there’s a clear analogy here for kids who try too hard to assimilate and want to forget their own culture. Gabrielle loses more of her Haitian identity with each wish. 

What I didn’t like: the second half of this book. Random magical rules and devices suddenly dropped in with every page, and it felt like reading one of my students’ writing. Everything was rushed and had convenient devices and was unbearable.
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I really loved this book! This book was delightful, filled with many life lessons. I think that children and adults can learn a lot about how to treat others, take pride in your culture and how to be true to yourself from this book. 
It hurt my heart with some of the things Gabrielle had to endure.  Gabrielle is a Haitian native that comes to America to get an education.  Her beautiful story is told within these pages. Along her journey she meets people from different backgrounds and makes choices that turn her world upside down. 
I read this in one sitting. I was sucked in and I loved the culture and the people and everything I learned from this book. 
A much needed middle grade addition to any library. 

Thanks NetGalley and the publisher for this ARC!
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This is a delightful,  action packed, full of life lessons book. Children and adults can learn a lot about how to treat others, take pride in your culture and being true to yourself. There are some hard truths brought forth that may make the book hard to read for some but pushing through the hard stuff can help you fly. Gabrielle is a Haitian native that comes to America to get an education.  Her story is told within these pages. Along her journey she meets people from different backgrounds and makes choices that turn her world upside down. 

Hopefully you'll impart the lessons learned to those around you and make the world, a better place.
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Gabrielle leave Haiti to live with her Aunt and Uncle in New York in order to have more opportunities in her life. But leaving her home makes her feel like an outsider when she arrives in the US. She learns the hard way, with a little magic and a witch on the side how to be who she really is and not give up her identity just to fit in. 

This book was spunky and fun, with enough seriousness to make a point and enough silliness to keep it entertaining. Great for 8-10 year olds, especially if they moved from another country or speak another language. And even better for kids born in America to truly understand what immigrant children are going through.  Never preachy or  boring, Gabrielle's story is one that many kids can relate to and parents will understand. Would make a great read-aloud book in the classroom.
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What is magical about Marie Arnold's book, In The Year I Felt Away, is the MAGIC! 
Ten-year old Gabrielle moves from Haiti to Brooklyn and struggles to adjust to her new life in America. It seems as though the other kids will never accept her and she will never fit in. That all changes when she meets Lady Lydia. The witch offers Gabrielle three wishes at a "small cost." Arnold's MG book is the perfect addition to classrooms and school libraries. The blend of magical realism with Haitian tradition in this adventure about immigration and cultural identity will spark imaginations while exploring the value of diversity. Definitely purchasing this one!
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Gabrielle moves from Hatti to New York to live with her aunt, uncle and their family until her parents can get to the United States. During her time she meets a witch and uses magic to help her fit in better in this new country at the expense of herself and her culture. It would be a great book for upper elementary or lower middles grades. It has the excitement of magic and shows the importance of ones own culture. I left thinking about how you don't have to change yourself to be a value to society.
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The Year I Flew Away blends magical realism with Haitian tradition in a kid-friendly adventure about immigration, trying to fit in, the benefits and limits of 1980s America, and the value of diversity. It's a highly readable book that would do well as a traditionally read or read-aloud novel. It gets a bit on-the-nose at the end, but overall is very enjoyable.
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Link to my book talk: https://youtu.be/nXpSEGjpi9I

Ten-year-old Gabrielle moves from Haiti to Brooklyn. While she's trying hard and adjusting to the new life in America, she's losing her root, her identity, and even her first language. When Gabrielle meets a witch called Lady Lydia, she can make three wishes and in exchange, she has to eat the magical mangos and pay a "small cost". Will Gabrille get her identity back and find out who she really is? I really like the incorporation of magic and witch in the story. I speak multiple languages and my family celebrates different cultures and traditions. I appreciate the underlying message of the book and it is an important one. It will be very helpful for a lot of middle graders.
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Love this story! So many benefits for young readers. Would highly recommend and will read when it is released.
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The Year I Flew Away reads just like a fairy tale complete with a magical evil witch and a quirky sidekick! I got Little Mermaid and Aladdin vibes especially when Gabrielle begins getting her wishes granted at the expense of other aspects of her identity. The book really opens the door for discussion about cultural assimilation. Several of my fourth grade students are first generation or immigrants themselves and could relate to what Gabrielle experiences when coming to America. I hope to instill in my students the importance of preserving and holding onto their roots while also opening themselves up to new experiences. Too often parents and their children wish to abandon their first language in order to learn English, but this book really shows what a shame that truly would be and instead the goal should be to promote bilingualism rather than completing shifting to English only. The book ends with adventure and a strong message of acceptance and celebrating diversity.
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