Flexible Wings


Children - Preteen
297 Pages
Reviewed on 03/04/2015
Buy on Amazon

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (Goodreads, B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

Flexible Wings is a novel for preteens written by Veda Stamps. Eleven-year-old Summer Stevenson is not terribly happy with the upcoming move her family is making. This is simply the most recent one in a succession of moves necessitated by her mom and dad being in the military. While her dad is no longer serving, her mom still is. They're moving from Berkeley to Valencia in Southern California, and Summer is upset about leaving her friend Esperanza and her little casita in the backyard. All the moves that this military family have made have been very stressful for her. When they finally arrive in Valencia, Summer likes the backyard, especially the hummingbirds which seem to be everywhere. She's also excited about finally being part of a swim team, but she's still faced with the impossible task of making new friends, and her mom's been called to active duty again.

Veda Stamps's preteen novel, Flexible Wings, is marvelous and very inspirational. I empathized with Summer's problems with the upheavals in her family's life and her understandable reluctance to always being the new kid in school -- though if you do have to move, Valencia sounds like a pretty amazing place. Stamps does an impressive job of giving the reader a sense of what it's like for the families of servicemen and servicewomen, and the necessary adjustments that are a part of their everyday lives. While my two favorite characters in this book were Summer and her grandmother, Baachan, all of the people in Flexible Wings seemed quite real after a while, and the swimming events are spectacular and great fun. Flexible Wings is an awesome read, and you don't have to be a preteen to enjoy it. I know I did. It's most highly recommended.

Kim Anisi

Flexible Wings by Veda Stamps is the story of Summer, a pre-teen girl who is the daughter of parents working in the military. For Summer, this meant that she and her younger sister often had to move with their parents, and that other people usually referred to her parents as heroes - while Summer simply wanted them to be her parents. The next move was different: her dad stopped his work in the military and took a "normal" job, while Summer's mum went away once more. Summer, this time, is allowed to sign up for the swimming team, but will this help her to make new friends or will there be more bullies than support?

Flexible Wings by Veda Stamps was the first book in a while that I've read in one day. While it wasn't adventurous and exciting in the way that many readers prefer today, it focused on people, their actions, and how they relate to each other. While it is about a girl with parents in the military, I think that the book can be encouraging to kids from all walks of life, as it is about finding your own inner strength when you start to understand that you cannot always rely on others. I enjoyed the way the book was written - the only criticism I have is that it definitely could have been longer. I would not have minded to live with the characters a bit longer! I am sure that kids will enjoy this book and read it just as quickly as I did.

Michelle Stanley

Flexible Wings is a story for preteens by Veda Stamps. Eleven-year-old Summer and her family move to Valencia, California, but she wishes she could have a stable lifestyle with lasting friendships. She is tired of moving to new places whenever her parents - who are in the navy - receive transfers. Summer joins the neighbourhood’s swim team where she makes friends with Madison and Zoe, but sadly realizes that she is the team’s worst swimmer. Her unhappiness increases when her mother leaves on another naval assignment, and Riley and Brooke bully her. Summer is glad when Grandma Baachan visits them and looks forward to her stories, but the one that Baachan relates about her past puts Summer in a pensive mood while she tries to adjust to the swimming challenges, and a nagging thought that she will soon move again.

Veda Stamps has written a lovely story in Flexible Wings. Her characters seem very real in a setting that is so natural. It is easy to understand why Summer feels likes an outcast whenever she relocates because the author made her narrate the story. Veda Stamps also involves the parents by letting them share their concerns based on their chosen careers. By doing so, it demonstrates how members of the armed forces often cope with their personal lives after participating in dangerous missions. The author’s writing is nicely structured and detailed. Preteens, especially those who are from military backgrounds, or children whose families sometimes relocate for various reasons, will find this book interesting.

Dr. Nicole

The author succeeded to tell the story of an insecure girls’ quest to follow her dreams as a competitive swimmer and her desire to belong, to an African American/mixed race, the kid of two military parents, older sister of an allergic child and the granddaughter of a Japanese American woman.
Based on a true story and many kinds of research on military family life, this exciting story hooked me from the first sentence to the last. "Heroes. Everyone uses that word to describe my parents-except me." This first sentence set the table to this very well written chapter book. The author took the time to show us how her main character, Summer, had to fight between loving and hating her parents. This book is original. It presents a military daughter with a very sensitive and emotional writing.
The author chose to let her main character being the narrator. This is one of the most difficult writing choices. She also used the present time for the verbs. This choice helps the readers to see the action. However, I prefer a story written in past tense. This book won a well deserved the Award from Readers’ Favorite for her work. Highly recommended for 9 to 12 years old preteens readers.