Flying Free-Written by Nicola Davies and Illustrated by Cathy Fisher

Telling the story of an Colin, an eleven year old boy who is excited to have received an air gun for his birthday from his older brother, enjoying sneaking around when their mum is at work so as to experience shooting the gun themselves – something their mum is not keen on and as such has forbidden. Frustrated with everyone treating him as an outcast and a child younger in years, he sets about truanting from school and heads out into nearby fields to shoot the gun. Consequences of his actions lead the boy to seeing that he has had the wrong attitude up until then, and that there are so many things out in the big wide world he has taken for granted, and he sets about making amends for his behaviour.

All the negative aspects of Colins life are resolved through him taking responsibility for his actions and consequently being treated more appropriately by those around him, and his positive turnaround rubs off on his troubled older brother too, making home life more harmonious. Colin’s story is connected to that of a Sparrowhawk, which is beautifully illustrated on the front cover by illustrator Cathy Fisher, and as such grips you as the reader as you long to learn the outcome of the journey Colin set into action when playing truant.

This is an incredible story that grabs your attention, and takes you through a rollercoaster of emotions as you read – especially as a reaction to the behaviour displayed by Colin’s older brother. There is so much that can be discussed and debated on within this story, such as the male role models in Colin’s life, and the effect they have on him, but the main aspect of this story has to be the importance of showing nature the respect it deserves. Flying Free is a story that stays with you long after reading because it has a powerful message behind the equally powerful illustrations and text.

Other titles in the Country Tales series –

  • The Mountain Lamb
  • A Boy’s Best Friend
  • The Little Mistake
  • Pretend Cows

This fantastic series is published by Graffeg, and all five titles are available to buy from all good booksellers now.

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