Ruby, Laura. The Wall and the Wing. 2006. 327p. Harper Collins.
For ages: 10 –14 years old; Good bedtime or classroom read aloud
Rating: 3 stars
Everyone can fly in Gurl’s world, except the leadfoot orphans at Hope House for the Hopeless. Gurl’s lonely life starts to change when she slips out of the orphanage at night. There, out in the alleys, Gurl discovers she can blend into the world and be invisible. She also makes her first friend, a cat—a rare animal in Gurl’s world. Her new happiness is jeopardized when the orphanage director, Mrs. Terwileger, kidnaps the cat and blackmails Gurl to use her invisibility skills to fulfill the director’s addiction for fashion and plastic surgery.
Bug desperately wants to fly. He knows he used to be able to but he can’t really remember when. Ever since he came to Hope House for the Hopeless his mind is a blur. He only has one talent, picking locks. Then he notices that Gurl can do things no one else can. Maybe she’s the answer to helping Bug fly.
This book is not your usual fantasy. It starts off slow, but once it gets going, the reader is introduced to a wild world of another New York City: full of flyers, mobsters, sewer punks, rat people, rare cats, and flaky professors with grass for hair. My daughter usually hates fantasy but loved this book.