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Learn to Fly

Came Back to Show you I Could Fly - Robin Klein

Robin Klein is an author I remember from my younger years, spending hours between my school's library and the local one. I remember that I read a few of her books, the only problem being that aside from Hating Alison Ashley, I couldn't remember any of the titles of the ones I read and when I look at Klein's list of MG/YA works I'm not sure if the titles seem familiar because I read them or just because I saw them on the shelves a lot. So when I came across (as I do!) Came Back To Show You I Could Fly in one of my secondhand store haunts for a dollar, I thought why not?

Seymour is eleven years old and stuck with a friend of his mother's for the summer holidays. While escaping some unfriendly kids in the neighbourhood, Seymour finds himself in the yard of 20-year-old Angela, by whom he is immediately captivated. She brings colour into his dull, boring world just by her presence. But there's a lot more going on in Angie's world than Seymour realises.

This novel shows a different view of drug addiction from the eyes of a naive young boy. Seymour is smitten by Angie but he also notices her mood swings, her strange sleeping habits where she seems 'sick', her tense relationship with her family and her erratic personality. It takes Seymour a little while to realise what's really going on in Angie's world and when he does, his personal development is outstanding. He shows the courage needed to confront someone who uses drugs as Angie does, and then the progress made in his own life, read in Postscript, is heart warming. Its as if his friendship with Angie, even as unstable as she was, gave him the courage to be a more active participant in his own life. Remarkable.