Talon, Come Fly With Me by Gigi Sedlmayer

Talon, Come Fly With Me by Gigi Sedlmayer
Publisher: Aurora House, Australia
Genre: Contemporary, Children’s Fiction
Length: Full length (238 pages)
Age Recommendation: 8+
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Chamomile

Inspiring story of a girl whose disability is her greatest strength and brings the important message of never losing hope in hard situations and using misfortune to look for an opportunity to be kind.

The story takes you into the Andean Mountains of Peru to a remote village where you meet a young girl, named Matica, who worries about being shunned by the tribal people because of her growth disability that makes her different from everyone else.
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One day she befriends two Condors she names Tamo and Tima. The village natives watch from a distance as her friendship and trust grow with the Condors. It only takes a short time before the entire village accepts the little girl for who she is when they find she can also communicate with them.

And then the adventures begin, changing her life in marvellous way. Matica is delightful, caring, and undaunted by these giant birds and their offspring, she and her father rescue from poachers.

A young child with a disability, finds her place in a South American village.

Matica — is a 9 year-old stuck in a toddler’s body, unable to grow. The people in the Peruvian village where her Australian missionary father lived with the natives, tease Matica cruelly for her differences. That’s part of what I struggled with. Matica’s character, even because her disability, was…odd, and the villagers’ mistreatment, would have easily been a reason for her father to leave, or find her a safe home where she could grow up and learn better behavior. I felt that the author also tried to be logical, but ended up losing that threat soon on and parts of the story lacked the focus and quality of others.

As mentioned, there was good, I did like that the author tried to highlight disabilities in a positive light, or rather more accepting one as Matica’s disability has little effect on her personality and quick mind. In fact, she might possibly have been the only character I liked throughout the story. I also enjoyed the condor/wildlife part, and seeing Matica again showing her strengths, despite her unfortunate growth defect, proving that her size does not define her.

The good and bad are about even in this one, but Matica’s enjoyable nature bumps my rating up a bit, and makes it easier to praise this story. I’d enjoy more of her story, but wish the book was a smoother read, and that it had more focus on plot, avoiding the choppy transitions. Still, this story is an interesting middle-grade read, that can be enjoyed by all ages, and has some good messages of hope and finding your place and purpose in life that are universal.

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