Things with WingsTitle: The Things with Wings
Author: Gregory J. Holch
ISBN: 0590935011
Pages: 227 pages
Publisher/Date: Scholastic Press, c1998.

Vanessa pushed the fast forward button.
“I don’t think there’s anything more,” she said, and just then there was the high pitched burble of a voice from the tape player.
“Go back and play that at normal speed,” said Newton.
Vanessa rewound the tape and pressed the play button.
A new voice spoke. Three words.
“It’s happening again,” said the voice. Then the line went dead. (16)

Vanessa Zephyr and Newton Bellnap are twelve year olds who live in Angel Falls, where the butterflies appear every year. Upon following the butterflies this year, they discover a fruit tree in a hidden garden. The fruit prompts changes in Vanessa and her classmates, which awakens in the town a secret that’s been kept for decades. Will the butterflies be returning?

This book was recommended to me by a patron, so I figured I’d better read it. My recommendation box doesn’t get a lot of books that I haven’t heard of (it mainly consists of the typical Harry Potter, Magic Tree House, American Girl, etc.). I wasn’t too thrilled with the cover art, but the story is a sweet story. Upon summarizing the plot to my coworker, she suggested it for our Battle of the Books. It’s a simple story of friendship and belonging, with some deep references. Some scenes reminded me of Kafka’s Metamorphesis, and references to other movies and readings and scientists (like Newton and Poe) contribute to the removed feel. It does, however, cater to every kids fantasy to fly, and just imagining the swooping and diving described is fun to read.