Fly on the wall

Remy Lai

Book - 2020

"Though Henry Khoo is twelve years old, he's still treated like a baby. He's forbidden from going anywhere without his sister/chaperone/bodyguard. And he definitely CAN'T take a journey halfway around the world all by himself! But that's exactly his plan. After his family's annual trip to visit his father in Singapore is canceled, Henry decides he doesn't want to be cooped up at home with his overprotective family and BFF turned NRFF (Not Really Friend Forever).... Plus, he's hiding a your-life-is-over-if-you're-caught secret: He's the creator of an anonymous gossip cartoon, and he's on the verge of getting caught. Determined to prove his independence and avoid punishment for his crimes, Henry embarks on the greatest adventure everrr... hoping it won't turn into the greatest disaster ever." --

Saved in:

Children's Room Show me where

jFICTION/Lai Remy
1 / 1 copies available
Location Call Number   Status
Children's Room jFICTION/Lai Remy Checked In
Subjects
Genres
Children's stories Comic books, strips, etc
Graphic novels
Fiction
Published
New York : Henry Holt and Company 2020.
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
332 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 21 cm
Audience
Ages 8-12.
Grades 4-6.
ISBN
9781250314116
1250314119
9781250314123
1250314127
Main Author
Remy Lai (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* Henry Khoo just wants his family to stop treating him like a baby. He's 12 years old, for crying out loud! Instead, he's got a helicopter mother and older sister, who won't let him do anything on his own. When the family's annual trip to visit Henry's dad is canceled, Henry is crushed—and doubly so when his suggestion to make the trip on his own is immediately dismissed. Henry is positive he's mature enough to fly by himself from Australia to his dad in Singapore, and thus a scheme to do just that is born. Lai follows her debut, Pie in the Sky (2019), with another winning tale of middle-school trials. Her comics-style artwork gives the book Wimpy Kid flair, while accentuating the story's funny moments (including fart jokes!) and bringing a secondary story line to life. The latter revolves around an online comic by "Fly on the Wall" that pokes fun at students and staff at Henry's school. Henry is the secret creator of the comic, which he began in response to being dumped by his best friend. Lai authentically navigates the conflicting emotions that define the awkward transition from kid to teenager, and readers will fall in love with Henry as he struggles to find that tween balance. A smile-inducing crowd-pleaser for every collection. Grades 4-7. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Henry Khoo chronicles his life quandaries in this fresh, idiosyncratic story that meshes prose and graphic novel formats. The 12-year-old Australian resident feels suffocated and sometimes humiliated by his overprotective mother and older sister, and is convinced that his father in Singapore, with whom he shares only perfunctory phone conversations, doesn't like him. At school, Henry's best and only friend suddenly adopts a new passel of pals, leaving him alone, resentful, and ready to retaliate. The multistranded plot unfolds in Henry's notebook, brimming with hyperbolic line drawings that are charged with imagination, emotion, and humor. (He portrays his mother and sister as anthropomorphized helicopters hovering overhead, while a flattened Henry exclaims, "You've turned me into a helipad!") The disgruntled boy makes some uncharacteristically bold, even reckless, moves. He creates the anonymous blog Fly on the Wall (the name reflects his feeling of invisibility), which features mean-spirited cartoons of classmates, and he surreptitiously flies alone to Singapore to speak with his father about some long-percolating questions. As she did in Pie in the Sky, Lai deftly mines the angst and conundrums of life as a dual-cultural adolescent fording the turbulent torrents of peer and family relationships. Ages 8–12. Agent: Jim McCarthy, Dystel, Goderich & Bourret. (May) Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 4–7—Henry Khoo is tired of being babied by his family and invisible at school. Trying to declare independence from both, he started the infamous "Fly on the Wall" blog, which spreads gossip about his schoolmates, and is currently on his way to the airport for an unauthorized trip from Perth, Australia, (where he lives with his helicoptering mom, sister, and grandmother), to Singapore for a surprise visit to his dad. On the way, he must deal with a former best friend, a lurking nemesis, a seatmate who could double as an encyclopedia, and an online comment from the unknown "Frog in the Well," threatening that Frog is going to out Henry to Principal Trang as the creator of the notorious blog. Near-misses and laugh-out-loud moments abound in this novel, which will endear it to readers who like "Big Nate" and "Wimpy Kid," but Henry's character development in this illustrated novel leaves Greg Heffley in the dust. VERDICT Henry's hero journey is replete with pitfalls and moments of self awareness, both of which lead him to a better understanding of why he does what he does (he's lonely) and why his family is so overprotective (they love him). Any kid who recognizes that they have weaknesses will identify with and cheer for Henry. Highly recommended for libraries that serve tweens.—Elizabeth Friend, Wester Middle School, TX Copyright 2020 School Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Twelve-year-old Henry Khoo embarks on a forbidden journey from Australia to Singapore to prove his independence to his overprotective family, while working out some problems with friends. Told in comics and prose.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

A boy with an overprotective mother who interrogates his friends and forbids him from doing anything independently secretly creates an anonymous gossip cartoon and scrambles to keep his parents from finding out. A first middle grade novel. Illustrations.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

In Fly on the Wall, a moving and hilarious diary-style illustrated novel from the award-winning author of Pie in the Sky, a twelve-year-old boy goes on a (forbidden) solo adventure halfway around the world to prove his independence to his overprotective family.A Best Book of the Year for Kirkus, Booklist, Chicago Public Library, and School Library Journal!Henry Khoo's family treats him like a baby. He’s not allowed to go anywhere without his sister/chaperone/bodyguard. And he definitely CAN’T take a journey halfway around the world all by himself!But that’s exactly his plan. After his family’s annual trip to visit his father in Singapore is cancelled, Henry decides he doesn’t want to be cooped up at home with his overprotective family and BFF turned NRFF (Not Really Friend Forever). Plus, he’s hiding a your-life-is-over-if-you’re-caught secret: he’s the creator of an anonymous gossip cartoon, and he's on the verge of getting caught. Determined to prove his independence and avoid punishment for his crimes, Henry embarks on the greatest adventure everrr. . . hoping it won’t turn into the greatest disaster ever. Remy Lai takes readers on an adventure filled with humor, heart, and hijinks that’s a sure bet for fans of Jerry Craft, Terri Libenson, and Shannon Hale!“Funny, enthralling, and a great reminder that being a little odd isn’t a bad thing.” —Kayla Miller, author of Click and Camp * "Near-misses and laugh-out-loud moments abound, which will endear it to readers who like 'Big Nate' and 'Wimpy Kid.'" —School Library Journal, starred review