Wings to Soar

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Pub Date Jul 23 2024 | Archive Date Jul 23 2024
Charlesbridge | Charlesbridge Moves

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Description

A historically relevant middle-grade novel-in-verse about a girl's resiliency when faced with hatred towards refugees. Readers of The Night Diary and Inside Out and Back Again shouldn’t miss out.

It's 1972 and Viva’s Indian family has been expelled from Uganda and sent to a resettlement camp in England, but not all of them made the trip. Her father is supposed to meet them in London, but he never shows up. As they wait for him, Viva, her mother, and her sister get settled in camp and try to make the best of their life there.

Just when she is beginning to feel at home with new friends, Viva and her family move out of the camp and to a part of London where they are not welcome. While grappling with the hate for brown-skinned people in their new community, Viva is determined to find her missing father so they can finish their move to Canada. When it turns out he has been sponsored to move to the United States, they have to save enough money to join him.

Told in verse, Wings to Soar follows a resilient girl and the friendships she forges during a turbulent time.

"These rich, vivacious lines combine an insistence on self with undaunted hope. A supreme heart-changer."
—Rita Williams-Garcia, Newbery Honor, National Book Award, Boston Globe/Horn Book Award, and Coretta Scott King Award Winner
A historically relevant middle-grade novel-in-verse about a girl's resiliency when faced with hatred towards refugees. Readers of The Night Diary and Inside Out and Back Again shouldn’t miss out.

It's...

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EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9781623544317
PRICE $17.99 (USD)
PAGES 352

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Average rating from 17 members


Featured Reviews

Wings to Soar is a middle-grade story in verse about a young Indian girl from Ugunda named Viva, who has been displaced to England while her family try to reunite with their father. Issues constantly crop up that prevent the family from moving to Canada, where they're supposed to start a new life. This leaves Viva confused and angry, especially when her family has to deal with racism.

I felt emotionally attached to Viva right from the start of this novel, she is an innocent girl who is trying to understand the harshness of the world she's living in. She has to deal with a lot of issues that millions of people around the world still deal with and can relate to, so this will be a great book for all-ages to read.

The book has a recurring theme about words and language, which is something Viva and her father have a special interest in. This was a good way to not only get inside Viva's mind, but also a great learning tool for any younger reader who picks up this book.

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What an important middle grade novel.

The book opens in 1972 when Viva's Indian family has been removed from Uganda and placed in a resettlement camp in England. But, they are without Viva's father, who is to meet them in London.

This historically important novel-in-verse shares themes of resiliency and hatred toward refugees. It's a wonderful story of family, relationships, and overcoming challenges during a turbulent political time.

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"Wings to Soar" by Tina Athaide is a well-researched novel in verse based on the refugee crisis of 1972, when President Idi Amin of Uganda ordered the expulsion of all Ugandan Asians in the country, many of Indian and Pakistani origins. More than 27,000 emigrated to the UK, many ending up in resettlement camps run by the Red Cross, the Women's Royal Voluntary Service, and even the US Air Force. Viva is a young girl who has arrived at such a repurposed military base with her mother and older sister. Viva loves singing Supreme songs like her idol Diana Ross and learning the definitions of new words. Viva and her family are waiting for the arrival of their father so that they can then travel to Canada. However, her father's expected arrival does not happen, turning her world and her family's upside down. Meanwhile Viva finds friendship with twins Maggie and Mark, whose mom is a volunteer on the base. She also makes friends with a young American serviceman named Leroy. As the base gets overcrowded Viva must leave with her family for a new neighborhood where refugees are being made to feel unwelcome and unsafe. All the while Viva is determined to locate her father, even though her mom has seemingly given up hope, and her sister struggles to stay well. In order to reunite her family Viva must draw on the friendships she had made since arriving in England. The poems in this story are beautifully written, helping to connect Viva's story to the larger tale of political unrest occurring in 1970s era England.

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4.5 stars, rounded up to 5.

I thoroughly enjoyed this middle grades book! The main characters were relatable and well developed. It was a quick read, as it is written in verse.

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Thank you to NetGalley, Charlesbridge, Charlesbridge Moves, and Tina Athaide for the opportunity to read Wings to Soar in exchange for an honest review.

The novel-in-verse style is perfect to tell the refugee experience from the middle grade perspective. I don't quite remember, but I believe the main character, Viva, is only 11 or 12 years old as she shares her experience as a Uganda Asian refugee in England.

In 1972, Viva's family was forced from Uganda to a resettlement camp in England. It's Viva, her sister Anna, and her mother, though they try patiently to awat the arrival of their father as well, so that they may then relocate to find a home in Canada.

When Viva's father doesn't show up when she is supposed to, she goes out of her way to try to contact him or get any information she can regarding his wharabouts. In the meantime, Viva's family has to move to Southall, where the news is riddles with refugee hatred. Viva, once an innocent child, learns about the world through the experience of a refugee not wanted in England. She likes to stand up for herself, but her mother deters her from speaking out, because that will only bring more trouble.

The hate crimes become more serious, Viva's father is still missing, and she must learn how to accept the reality of the world she is living in.

This novel is a powerful historical fiction that shares one view of a young refugee and what her experience was like. This novel is very eye-opening, and I would not only recommend it to a middle grade audience, but any reder who wants to learn and see a perspective that is likely different than their own experiences.

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This was a great historical middle-grade novel, it had everything that I was looking for in this type of story. The characters were everything that I was looking for and enjoyed from the genre. I enjoyed the way Tina Athaide wrote this and can’t wait to read more.

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Told in free verse from the viewpoint of young Viva, this book begins with a lot of promise. In short, dramatic chapters, we are introduced to Viva, a young mixed race girl who has had to flee Uganda with her mother and older sister in 1972, and is now in a refugee camp in England.
Her father is missing, and the family fears for his safety, even as their own future seems uncertain. Her one comfort, besides words, is song - specifically, the songs of Diana Ross, that she belts out with gusto whenever the mood strikes

Viva, especially close to her father, uses the words games they played together to make sense of their circumstances, while she negotiates new relationships with the children and adults she encounters at the camp. As the mystery around her father's disappearance deepens, she also begins to question the racism she encounters, and her place in her family.

The first half of the book had me hooked. The verses , and Viva's unique voice had me engrossed, and rooting for this feisty protagonist. second half of the book, however, falters. I found the cadence of the verses in the first half missing. The mystery around her father's disappearance feels hastily resolved and Viva (and, indeed, the book's plot) never seems to have the character development the first half promises . We never get a sense of Uganda, the country she has fled either, and all her memories of her former life merely revolve around a friend called Ella. We never even get a clear picture of Ella and the bond she has with Viva, or why she has been so special to her friend. Viva's is a unique voice, and this event in history has barely any mention in children's literature, so I would recommend Wings to Soar to young readers for its message of hope and fortitude. .

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It's 1972 and Idi Amin has expelled all Ugandan Asians from Uganda. Viva, her sister Anna and their mum have landed in England, in a resettlement camp on the RAF base at Greenham Common. Viva's father is set to join the family but when his flights arrives, he isn't on it and the family struggle to find out why and where he is. Viva and her father share a love of words and in looking for a dictionary one day, Viva meets Mark and his twin sister, Maggie. This friendship, along with several others, makes the situation a little more bearable until Viva, Anna and their mother are moved out of the camp to Southall, West London. Southall is a red zone, an area where residents have been protesting against refugees and demanding that the government sends them back.

I read this book, initially, because the Year 6 children I work with are really into verse novels at the moment and I am always keen to have new suggestions for them. I found the story really interesting, particularly as this period of history is one I know little about. I loved the characters, in particular Leroy and Maggie and Mark and I also enjoyed watching Viva's relationship with her sister, Anna, develop as they both seemed to learn that the other is more than just someone to be irritated by. I would have liked to understand the character of Sanjeev Gupta and his mother, especially as they both seemed so different from Sanjeev's father.
Overall, I thought this was a great book. The story was pacy and engaging and I enjoyed learning about this period of history. Books like this are the closest some people may get to experiencing the level of hate and persecution many refugees face and it sadly goes without saying, that there are many parallels that can be drawn between the period of this novel and the present day. I think that it is important for children now to learn about the blatant racism and shocking treatment of refugees not so long ago, in order to see why things need to be different.

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What a moving novel in verse based on the refugee crisis of 1972 in Uganda. I loved this middle grade book, and i would love to read more by Tina Athaide.

4.5 Stars rounded up!

Thanks to Netgalley for an ARC of this story in exchange for an honest review.

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This novel-in-verse is set in the UK during the rise of the United Front. I knew very little about the history of this movement before reading this book. It's from the perspective of a Indian heritage girl from Uganda in the UK as a refugee. During this time, there were laws in place in the UK that limited classrooms from accepting more than 2-3 brown children. And there was an intense push back against refugees and resettlement. The story does a beautiful job giving the main character agency is a situation that is so far beyond her control. When Viva's father disappears after a trip back to Uganda to complete unfinished work, and the family is settled in a new-to-them part of London with a family whose son is none to pleased to have Viva in his class, Viva's desperate to do something to let her dad know where she is. She's certain he will return, even as others give up hope. This was a beautiful read about a historical period I knew little about.

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Wings to Soar is a verse novel set in UK in 1972. President Idi Amin of Uganda ordered the Ugandan Asian to be expelled from the country. More than 27,00o ended up in resettlement camps in the UK. These camps were run by the Red Cross, Women’s Royal Voluntary Service and the US Air Force. Viva, her sister and mother arrive at one of the refugee camps. They are waiting for their father to arrive, so they can move to Canada. However, their father doesn’t arrive and seems to have gone missing. Viva makes friends with twins, Maggie & Mark and Leroy, an American service man. A lot happens throughout the book, but eventually the family does end up together, in the US.

I really enjoyed reading this novel in verse. I couldn’t put it down. This was an event I had no knowledge of and found it quite interesting. It is a story of family, bravery, hatred, and overcoming adversity.

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"Wings to Soar" by Tina Athaide tells the poignant tale of Viva, a young girl navigating the refugee crisis of 1972. 🕊️ President Idi Amin's expulsion of Ugandan Asians forced Viva's family to flee to the UK, where they end up in a resettlement camp. 🇬🇧 Despite the challenges, Viva finds solace in her love for music and new friendships. 💕 But when her father doesn't arrive as expected, Viva's world is turned upside down. 😔 Determined to reunite her family, she embarks on a journey filled with hope and resilience. 🌟

Athaide's novel-in-verse beautifully captures Viva's story, weaving it into the larger narrative of political unrest in 1970s England. 📚 Each poem resonates with emotion, drawing readers into Viva's struggles and triumphs. 🎶 "Wings to Soar" is a heartwarming and thought-provoking read that highlights the power of friendship and perseverance in the face of adversity. 💪🏽📖

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Wings to Soar
by Tina Athaide
Pub DateJul 23 2024
Charlesbridge |Charlesbridge Moves
Children's Fiction| Historical Fiction| Middle Grade



Netgalley and Charlesbridge have provided me with a copy of Wings to Soar for review:



It's 1972, and Viva's Indian family has been expelled from Uganda and sent to a resettlement camp in England, but not all of them made it. They are supposed to meet her father in London, but he never shows up. As they wait for him, Viva, her mother, and her sister get settled in camp and try to make the best of their life there.Viva, her mother, and her sister settle into camp while they wait for him.


When Viva and her family begin to feel at home with new friends, they are forced to leave the camp and move to an area of London where they are not welcome. While Viva grapples with the hatred for brown-skinned people in their new community, she is determined to find her missing father so they can move to Canada. He has been sponsored to move to the United States, so they have to save money to join him.


I give Wings to Soar five out of five stars!


Happy Reading!

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This book did exactly what I hoped, and took me through a period of history I wasn't familiar with in a way that left me thinking about it after I was done reading. The format was a perfect way to cover such a heavy topic (novels in verse are quickly becoming a favorite of mine). It does read on the younger side of Middle Grade in my opinion, but I think kids and adults alike can learn a lot from Viva and her story. Beautifully written and I hope the author does more like this.

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An important subject of history, but not sure the verse is as powerfully executed as it could be. Dialogue is unnecessarily confusing in how it’s delineated. Why no quotation marks? I did enjoy Viva as a protagonist. A very timely book. Nothing is new under the sun, including anti-immigration hate.

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