Books·Canadian

The Discovery of Flight

Susan Glickman's teen novel captures the story of two sisters; the eldest lives with cerebral palsy and the younger is concerned about her sibling's deteriorating condition.

Susan Glickman

The Discovery of Flight is a novel in two voices about the relationship between two sisters, the older of whom is disabled by cerebral palsy and only able to communicate with assistive technology (controlling her computer by moving her eyes). It interweaves the fantasy novel 16-year-old Libby is writing for Sophie's 13th birthday and Sophie's diary, in which she discusses the deteriorating condition of her older sister.

The book's title is also the title of Libby's novel, in which Libby takes the form of a hawk telepathically linked to a girl who is an artist like her sister. As Libby's condition worsens, she retreats into her novel more and interacts with the outside world less. Though the situation is tragic, Sophie's voice is extremely funny and wry.

Through her storytelling, Libby becomes a heroic figure rather than a helpless victim. After Libby's death, the girls' mother presents Sophie with the novel and Sophie writes its final chapter, bringing the voices of the two girls together. (From Innana Publications)

The Discovery of Flight is available in May 2018.