Cover image for Floating boy and the girl who couldn't fly
Floating boy and the girl who couldn't fly
Jones, P. T., 1972- , author.
Publication Information:
Toronto : ChiZine Publications, 2014.
Physical Description:
264 pages; 19 cm
Mary's life is going fine. Except for being a freshman in high school. And having anxiety attacks. And her dad having no job. So, introduce one boy who can fly, kidnap the little brother she's supposed to be babysitting, and drop a military quarantine on her town and that should make her anxiety completely disappear, right? Wrong!
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Popular Materials-Young Adult
Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Young Adult
Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Open Shelf
Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Young Adult
Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Young Adult
Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Young Adult

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Things Mary doesn't want to fall into: the river, high school, her mother's life.

Things Mary does kind of want to fall into: love, the sky.

This is the story of a girl who sees a boy float away one fine day. This is the story of the girl who reaches up for that boy with her hand and with her heart. This is the story of a girl who takes on the army to save a town, who goes toe-to-toe with a mad scientist, who has to fight a plague to save her family. This is the story of a girl who would give anything to get to babysit her baby brother one more time. If she could just find him.

It's all up in the air for now, though, and falling fast. . . .

Fun, breathlessly exciting, and full of heart, Floating Boy and the Girl Who Couldn't Fly is an unforgettable ride.

Author Notes

P. T. Jones is the pseudonym for Stephen Graham Jones and Paul Tremblay.

Stephen Graham Jones is the author of Flushboy, about a teen working at his father's revolutionary bathroom establishment, and he's also got seventeen other books, lots of them with "Zombie" in the title. Stephen's stories have been in Year's Best anthologies, in textbooks, and online. Though he lives in Colorado now, Stephen grew up in Texas. If you squint just right, some parts of this Massachusetts story will probably have a tumbleweed or two.

Paul Tremblay is the author of The Little Sleep, No Sleep Till Wonderland, In the Mean Time, Swallowing a Donkey's Eye, and the forthcoming A Head Full of Ghosts. His short fiction and essays have appeared in The Los Angeles Times and numerous Year's Best anthologies. He lives just outside of Boston, and when he's not writing about narcoleptic private detectives, girls with two heads, or teens who float, he helps administrate the Shirley Jackson Awards.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

At first it seems like just another birthday party, with lots of family, food, and noise, but it all takes a decidedly odd twist when Mary sees a teenage boy suddenly climb a tree and float away. Mary is convinced that the event happened and refuses to accept the adults' explanation that it was simply a large balloon that escaped into the sky. Determined to find answers, Mary sets out to find the boy. There is an initial tension of whether Mary can be a trusted narrator. The reader knows that Mary is struggling with emotional issues, and so whether her experiences are actually occurring or simply figments of her imagination is unclear. Rather than linger in this interesting ambiguity between perception and reality, the novel quickly moves into standard mystery-novel fare. The novel is strongest when Mary speaks like the teenager she is and her real self shines through. Readers will relate to Mary's emotional struggles and the intense pressure she places on herself.--Gaus, Eve Copyright 2015 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Writing as P.T. Jones, authors Stephen Graham Jones (Flushboy) and Paul Tremblay (Swallowing a Donkey's Eye) deliver an unusual tale that straddles the border between magic realism and weird science. Fourteen-year-old Mary's quiet life is disrupted one summer day when a strange teenage boy invades a family birthday party before climbing a tree and simply floating off into the sky. Soon, floating becomes contagious: children and teenagers are suddenly able to fly, while adults come down with an odd variant of the flu. All Mary wants to do is cure her three-year-old brother and return things to normal, but as she spends time with the mysterious Floating Boy, they develop an unexpected relationship. Mary and her friends must face the scientist responsible for the floating epidemic, even as the army closes in to restore order. While the premise is intriguing and the execution solid, pacing lags somewhat, and the mad science angle doesn't gel especially well with the dreamlike quality of the writing and the sheer weirdness of flying children. Nevertheless, this is an entertaining, thoughtful piece. Ages 12-up. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Review

Gr 7-10-Mary, about to enter high school, was not expecting a cute boy to drift into her life at her little cousin's birthday party. Or to float right out of it again. But, right before her eyes, the boy floats off into the sky. While other partygoers conjure excuses for what they witnessed, Mary believes in the phenomenon. Then her little brother, Terry, starts floating too. Desperate to save Terry, Mary searches for Floating Boy to learn about what is causing the strange occurrence. Soon, her friends, and other children in town, are floating as well, but Mary remains grounded. When Terry is kidnapped by Mr. Barron, the sinister guardian of Floating Boy, the protagonist embarks on a mission to rescue her little brother, and everyone else in town, from this mad scientist. But will saving Terry result in Mary losing the boy who has sent her heart soaring? This captivating, multilayered story immediately engages readers with Mary's snarky, spunky narration. But hovering beneath the mystery of Floating Boy is the specter of Mary's mental issues: anxiety attacks caused her to miss the end of the school year. Mary lives in fear of her doctor putting her on "zombie pills" that will leave her lethargic and lifeless. Her best friend, Liv, is on suicide watch, constantly shadowing Mary to keep her from harming herself. Can Mary save the town, and herself, before it's too late? An unusual book that will enthrall young teens.-Nancy Nadig, Penn Manor School District, Lancaster, PA (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.