THE CHANCE TO FLY
Stacy Davidowitz + Ali Stroker
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
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?
THE CHANCE TO FLY has been an Amazon Bestseller, #1 New Release, and Editor's Pick; and was named one of Amazon's Best Books of 2021. The National Education Association selected it as a featured title for Read Across America. It was also a Chicago Public Library's Best Kids Fiction Book of 2021, a PARENTS' Best Children's Books 2021 Winner, and a Bank Street College of Education Best Children's Book of the Year. It has been featured on The Today Show, Good Morning America, The Tamron Hall Show, Parents Magazine, The Associated Press, New York Live, Broadway World, Broadway.com, Broadway Profiles with Tamsen Fadal, Kirkus Reviews Magazine, Story Monsters Ink Magazine, The Week Jr. Magazine, and Lollipop Theater Network.
Download our 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!
"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.”
— PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, **STARRED REVIEW**
"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!"
— KIRKUS REVIEWS
"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."
— SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL