"Witty and clever. This novel really does sparkle." Roddy Doyle
From debut author Kelly McCaughrain comes a sweet and kooky romcom for fans of R. J. Palacio's Wonder, Sarah Crossan, and Susin Nielsen's We Are All Made of Molecules.
Twins Finch and Birdie Franconi are stars of the flying trapeze. But when Birdie suffers a terrifying accident, Finch must team up with the geeky new kid, Hector Hazzard, to form an all-boys double act and save the family circus school.
Together they learn to walk the high-wire of teen life and juggle the demands of friends, family, first love and facing up to who they are – all served up with a dash of circus-showbiz magic.
“[…] filled with fantastical yet real-feeling joy.” ― The Guardian
“ Flying tips for Flightless Birds is a quirky and complex story, told with an elegant simplicity that hooks you from the first few pages. A gentle but gripping exploration of the highs and lows of being a young person, of love, friends and the relationship we have with ourselves and others.” ― The Book Bag
“Highs, lows, love and laughter - this big-hearted circus-set debut has it all. […]Alongside the tension and turmoil around Birdie’s condition, and the radiant razzle-dazzle of the circus, there’s a magnificent (if rocky-roaded) romance, and many words of wisdom come courtesy of Birdie’s blog posts […] Complex questions are put under the spotlight as the main characters try to navigate their way in the world, wondering who they are, who they should be, how they fit in, and these big issues are all explored with clarity, humour and a whole of lot of heart beneath Franconi’s exhilarating Big Top.” ― LoveReading4Kids
This novel is as good as Meg Rosoff at her finest. A fresh and honest look at teenage life, and explored issues of sexuality and identity. ― Book Murmuration
Flying Tips for Flightless Birds is unexpectedly funny, often enjoyable and, at its best, oddly moving. This is a début which juggles the sweet and the sombre, and is ideal for 11-14 readers. I’m intrigued to see what McCaughrain writes next. ― The Paper Alchemist
About the Author
Kelly was born in Belfast in 1977 and grew up in nineteenth-century Avonlea. She studied at Queens University Belfast, where she did two degrees. For fun. She currently lives with her husband Michael and their ancient VW campervan Gerda.