Thanks to Netgalley for giving me an advance chance to read The Chance to fly.
Beacon loves a lot of things: Her dog Warbucks her best friend Chole and competing with her wheelchair racing team the Zoomers to name a few. But she’s absolutely drawn in by and OBSESSED with MUSICALS. From Hamilton to Les Mis, she memorized all the cast albums and can belt them out with the best of them, She’s never actually SEEN a musical though, or seen an actor who uses a wheelchair for mobility on the stage.
As much as she loves musicals would someone like her even get cast? However, when Nat’s family moves from California to New Jersey, a moves she’s not excited about at first. Nat stumbles on upon auditions for a kid’s production of Wicked of her favorite musicals ever! And she gets into the ensemble! She also makes friends with the other cast members who are super cool and inclusive, well most of them at least.
She has a special place in her heart for Malik-the male lead and cutest boy Nat’s ever seen. But Nat thinks Malik would never consider her, and another girl sees their chemistry and it leads to a frienemy for Nat.
When things go awry before opening night Nat finds herself more front and center than she expected, will she be able to cast away her fears fly “Defy Gravity” with the help of an old friend and new in every sense of the song title.
Nat Beacon was made to fly! Only she doesn’t know it yet when she signs up for the local production of Wicked in her new town. She’s never seen anyone in a wheelchair be cast in any musical so she’s shy but ready to convince the producers that she will be the right fit for Nessarose a disabled character in the play.
At first, she only gets the ensemble, and then is put off by one of the theater coaches saying she can’t do the dancing parts, to which she and a musical theater friend learn how to dance in her wheelchair. The book has a lot of ups and a fire that almost shuts down the production. Female competition, But the best part to me is how they discuss miscasting and disability but not in a serious way, in a way that fits how teens/tweens would discuss it. This book rings true to its audience plus for at least one of its authors it’s an #OwnVoices piece. I just really enjoy the book
Stroker made history as the first person in a wheelchair to appear on Broadway and win a Tony Award. Her experience is infused into Nat’s heartwarming and empowering journey into the spotlight in The Chance to Fly, cowritten with Davidowitz, an award-winning children’s book author and playwright.
Writing Nat’s story brought me back to my childhood, when auditioning made my stomach flip and opening nights gave me the butterfly-iest butterflies,” said Davidowtiz. “Something I held onto as a kid-and something Ali and I want our readers to take away from The Chance to Fly now-is that no matter who you are and what challenges you face, creativity is key. You can break boundaries. You can burst through boxes. YOU can find solutions.”