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A heartfelt middle-grade novel about a theater-loving girl who uses a wheelchair for mobility and her quest to defy expectations—and gravity—from Tony award–winning actress Ali Stroker and Stacy Davidowitz
It's been an Amazon Bestseller, #1 New Release, and Editor's Pick; and was named an Amazon Best Book of the Year. It was also a Chicago Public Library's Best of the Best, a Parents Magazine Best Book of the Year, and a Bank Street College of Education Best Book of the Year. The National Education Association selected it as a featured title for Read Across America, and it has been featured on/by The Today Show, Good Morning America, The Tamron Hall Show, Parents Magazine, The New York Times, US Weekly, Scholastic Kids Press, The Associated Press, New York Live, PIX 11, Broadway World,, Broadway Profiles with Tamsen Fadal, Kirkus Reviews Magazine, Story Monsters Ink Magazine, The Week Jr. Magazine, The Stacks Podcast, The Museum of Broadway, Drama Book Shop, and Lollipop Theater Network.

Typically, Stacy facilitates one to four 45-minute workshops, reaching students from fourth to eighth grade. The workshops are theatrical and inspiring. Virtual is available!

Stacy has different rates for the NYC Department of Education public schools, schools in the Tristate area, schools outside the Tristate area, virtual visits, camps, book clubs, and virtual book clubs. 

To learn more, reach her directly at

She responds fast.

In the meantime:​

Download the Reading Guide with discussion questions and writing prompts - perfect for book clubbers, teachers, and fans!

Visit NEA - Read Across America's Resources for THE CHANCE TO FLY, their August 2021 Book of the Month! 

Uptown Kid Lit 2023: Sisterhoods, Elders, & Friends Forever in Middle-Grade Novels

Uptown Kid Lit 2023: Sisterhoods, Elders, & Friends Forever in Middle-Grade Novels

Uptown Lit Lit 2023: Sisterhoods, Elders, & Friends Forever in Middle-Grade Novels with Stacy Davidowitz, Alexandra V. Méndez, & Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich, moderated by Veronica Santiago Liu Like it or not, families and friends shape us: who we are, who we want to be, and who we don't want to be. From blended families and elder magic to raucous cabin mates, hear from three middle-grade authors - Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich, Alexandra V. Méndez, and Stacy Davidowitz - navigating these relationships through fiction. Stacy Davidowitz is an acclaimed author and playwright. Her novel The Chance to Fly, coauthored by Ali Stroker, was named a best children's book of the year by Amazon, Chicago Public Library, Parents, and Bank Street College of Education. Its sequel, Cut Loose!, releases October 24, 2023. Stacy is also the author of the Camp Rolling Hills series, the Hanazuki chapter-book series, and award-winning plays that have been produced regionally and internationally. Stacy lives in Washington Heights with her husband and twin boys, and is a proud Uptown Stories teacher. Follow her on Instagram at @stacydavidowitzbooks and learn more at Alexandra V. Méndez is a writer, teacher, and scholar who grew up bilingual in Decatur, Georgia, with family roots in Mexico and Mississippi. Her debut novel "What the Jaguar Told Her" was included in Kirkus’s list of the “Best Middle-Grade Fiction of 2022,” and the Southern Review of Books named it among “The Best Southern Books of October 2022.” She graduated from Harvard University in History and Literature and has a Ph.D. in Latin American and Iberian Cultures from Columbia University. She teaches at Barnard College and is a writing mentor with the nonprofit Girls Write Now. The Spanish edition of What the Jaguar Told Her is forthcoming in November 2023. Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich is the award-winning author of several children’s books, including Makeda Makes a Birthday Treat; Operation Sisterhood; It Doesn’t Take A Genius, a Kirkus Best Book of the Year; 8th Grade Superzero; Two Naomis, co-authored with Audrey Vernick, which was nominated for an NAACP Image Award; Saving Earth: Climate Change and the Fight For Our Future, a Junior Library Guild Selection; Someday Is Now: Clara Luper and the 1958 Oklahoma City Sit-Ins; Mae Makes A Way: The True Story of Mae Reeves, Hat and History Maker; and, with Anthony Ray Hinton and Lara Love Hardin, The Sun Does Shine: An Innocent Man, A Wrongful Conviction, and the Long Path to Justice (Young Readers Edition), which was a School Library Journal and Chicago Public Library Best Book of the Year. Word Up first launched Uptown Kid Lit in 2019 as a one-day festival for the Uptown community. After two years of virtual/hybrid programming in 2020 and 2021, UKL returned in person in 2022—with a focus on comics. Each year has gathered a unique and vibrant group of authors, illustrators, educators, publishers, editors, craftspeople, artists, and community organizations—all to support and celebrate our neighborhood’s youngest readers and families. In 2023, Uptown Kid Lit returned for its third year. Due to rain, the event was held inside Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Inwood, NYC. Uptown Kid Lit is organized by Word Up Community Bookshop and is made possible, in part, with funds from UMEZ Arts Engagement, a regrant program supported by the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone (UMEZ), and administered by LMCC. Uptown Kid Lit is also supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and by NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. Word Up Community Bookshop’s programs are made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.
Ali Stroker & Stacy Davidowitz's "The Chance To Fly" | Word Up

Ali Stroker & Stacy Davidowitz's "The Chance To Fly" | Word Up

Purchase book here Ali Stroker broke ground as the first person in a wheelchair to act on Broadway and win a Tony Award. Join Ali and author Stacy Davidowitz as they discuss and take questions about disability representation in the arts, their childhood theater experiences, and why their middle-grade novel The Chance to Fly is so important for readers now. ABOUT THE CHANCE TO FLY Thirteen-year-old Nat Beacon loves a lot of things: her dog Warbucks, her best friend Chloe, and competing on her wheelchair racing team, the Zoomers, to name a few. But there’s one thing she’s absolutely OBSESSED with: MUSICALS! From Hamilton to Les Mis, there’s not a cast album she hasn’t memorized and belted along to. She’s never actually been in a musical though, or even seen an actor who uses a wheelchair for mobility on stage. Would someone like Nat ever get cast? But when Nat’s family moves from California to New Jersey, Nat stumbles upon auditions for a kids’ production of Wicked, one of her favorite musicals ever! And she gets into the ensemble! The other cast members are super cool and inclusive (well, most of them)— especially Malik, the male lead and cutest boy Nat’s ever seen. But when things go awry a week before opening night, will Nat be able to cast her fears and insecurities aside and “Defy Gravity” in every sense of the song title? ABOUT THE AUTHORS Ali Stroker made history as the first person in a wheelchair to appear on Broadway and win a Tony Award. She made her Broadway debut in the revival of Spring Awakening and then played Ado Annie in the revival of Oklahoma! Ali graduated from NYU Tisch School of the Arts and has starred and recurred in numerous television shows including “Glee.” Her work as a humanitarian includes speaking and performing around the world helping people with and without disabilities through her message of “Making your Limitations into Opportunities.” This is her debut novel. Stacy Davidowitz is the author of the Camp Rolling Hills series and coauthor of Camp Rolling Hills the Musical, which continues to have productions across the country. She is also the author of the Hanazuki chapter-book series based on Hasbro’s YouTube series. Stacy has written award-winning plays that have been produced regionally and internationally. When she is not writing, she teaches creative writing and musical theater in schools, foster care facilities, and juvenile detention centers. She is a graduate of Tufts University and Columbia University, where she earned degrees in drama and acting. Stacy lives in Manhattan with her husband and twin boys.


"A story both fine and also uplifting—in both senses of the word, moral and physical!"

GREGORY MAGUIRE, New York Times bestselling author of Wicked

“Every theater kid in the world will instantly fall in love with Nat Beacon and relate to her story of perseverance. The Chance To Fly is as unique, inspirational, and full of heart as Ali Stroker is herself. She and Stacy Davidowitz will make readers laugh, cry, and teach them the true meaning of defying gravity.”

CHRIS COLFER, New York Times bestselling author and Golden Globe winning actor



"A story both fine and also uplifting—in both senses of the word, moral and physical!"

GREGORY MAGUIRE, New York Times bestselling author of Wicked


“Every theater kid in the world will instantly fall in love with Nat Beacon and relate to her story of perseverance. The Chance To Fly is as unique, inspirational, and full of heart as Ali Stroker is herself. She and Stacy Davidowitz will make readers laugh, cry, and teach them the true meaning of defying gravity.”

CHRIS COLFER, New York Times bestselling author and Golden Globe winning actor


“The perfect read for any dream chaser . . . You’ll realize how unlimited your possibilities are.”

KRISTIN CHENOWETH, Tony and Emmy Award winning actress and singer

“I only wish that The Chance to Fly was written when I was a teenager. Ali Stroker is a powerful role model for all youth and adults alike . . . We are living in changing times where audiences are clamoring for greater diversity. A Tony Award winner whose voice soars, whose energy brings us all to cheer is an example of what is possible.”

JUDITH HEUMANN, International Disability Rights Activist, author of Being Heumann: An Unrepentant Me

“Anyone who loves to dream and has a love for theater will greatly appreciate The Chance to Fly. This book reminds everyone that it is a beautiful thing to be different and to be passionate about doing what you love.”

SOPHIA GENNUSA, Tony Honored actress for her title role in Matilda

"Bolstered by realistic dialogue and Nat’s engaging internal narrative, this endearing novel will entrance a new generation of theater lovers and charm older ones with its allusions to beloved shows.”


"The authors know their stuff—Tony Award–winner Stroker was the first wheelchair user to be cast in a Broadway play, and Davidowitz is a playwright—and it shows. Fun, honest, and uplifting: applause!"


"Stroker and Davidowitz poignantly and perceptively explore external and internalized ableism; in particular, Nat’s initially awkward reaction to a nonspeaking student is uncomfortably realistic. But the infectious enthusiasm for theater never wanes, and a stirring conclusion leaves readers on a high note. A rousing celebration of friendship, self-expression, and self-advocacy."


"Seeing the obstacles Nat faces daily and watching her learn to advocate for herself may inspire readers to do the same. Serious scenes, like Nat's crush Malik discussing his experience as the only Black student in school, and learning why Nat uses a wheelchair are poignant, as is Nat's evolving relationship with her parents... Young disabled performers will be excited to see representation, and all readers will be rooting for Nat."



Huge thanks to the schools, camps, libraries, bookstores, festivals, podcasts, and theaters that have hosted author visits. Stacy has loved working with such enthusiastic and curious readers!



Lakeside Elementary School - Merrick, NY
Chatterton Elementary School - Merrick, NY
Birch Elementary School - Merrick, NY
PS 527 - Upper East Side, NYC
PS 166 - Long Island City, Queens, NYC
Long Island City High School - Queens, NYC

Roskruge Bilingual Magnet Elementary + Middle School - Tucson, AZ

PS 198 - Upper East Side, NYC

The Cathedral School - NYC

West Windsor-Plainsboro North High School - NJ

Calhoun High School - Merrick, NY

PS 111 - Long Island City, Queens, NYC

PS 284 - Brooklyn, NYC

PS 132 - Washington Heights, NYC

Ridgewood High School - Ridgewood, NJ

Ridgewood Middle School - Ridgewood, NJ

Business Technology Early College High School - Queens, NYC

Avenues: The World School - NYC

Osgoode Public School - Ottawa, Ontario

Sangha Education Center - Jericho, NY

Fieldstone Middle School - Montvale, NJ

Central School - Larchmont, NY

Lawrence School - Brookline, MA

PS 48 - Washington Heights, NYC

PS 187 - Washington Heights, NYC

Cresthaven Elementary School - Silver Spring, MD

Tyler Hill Camp - PA
Camp Louise - MD
ACT at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine - NYC

Operation Exodus - NYC

Libraries + Bookstores
Aguilar New York Public Library - Harlem, NYC
Books of Wonder - NYC
Astoria Bookshop - Queens, NY
Barnes & Noble - Woodland Park, NJ
The Children's Bookstore - Baltimore, MD
Talk Story Bookstore - Kauai, Hawaii

Hudson CO-OP - NYC

Word Up Community Bookstore - NYC

Barnes & Noble - Union Square, NYC

Bookends Bookstore - Ridgewood, NJ

University Bookstore - Seattle, WA

CAMP Stores - NYC

Merrick Library - Merrick, NY

The Drama Book Shop - NYC

Museum of Broadway - NYC



National Book Festival, Washington D.C.
ALA Midwinter Conference

MPIBA SpringCon 

Princeton Children's Book Festival, NJ
New York Musical Festival, NYC

Maplewood-South Orange (MAPSO) Book Festival, NJ

Uptown Kid Lit, NYC

Happy Campers Podcast
Campfires and Color Wars Podcast

Hoboken Children's Theater at Mile Square Theatre

Lollipop Theater Network Virtual Storytime

Story Monsters Ink Magazine

The Week Junior Magazine + October Book Club Pick

Broadway World

The New York Times

US Weekly

and featuring my co-author Ali Stroker:

GMA 3 (Good Morning America) 

The TODAY Show

PIX 11

The Tamron Hall Show

The Associated Press

New York Live

Parents Magazine IG Live + April Book Club Pick

Kirkus Reviews Magazine

Broadway Profiles with Tamsen Fadal

National Defense Radio Show

The Stacks Podcast

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