Review Blog

May 03 2017

Wing Jones by Katherine Webber

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Walker Books, 2017. ISBN 9781406369090
(Age: 13+) Highly recommended. Wing Jones is a confronting novel about the aftermath of a car accident caused by drink-driving. Focusing on the family of the person responsible, it gives insight on the difficulties faced not only by the perpetrator, but the family and friends of the perpetrator.
A world where you are a nobody and your big brother is a somebody is always going to be difficult to navigate, let alone having both Ghana and Chinese heritage in a school with a mostly white population. Wing Jones is unlucky enough to be all of above - an outsider to anything considered vaguely normal by her peers. As bad as that is it all gets worse when her brilliant brother comes crashing down from the pedestal she's placed him on and the police come to the door with grim expressions for the second time in her life.
As the news of Marcus' drunk driving spreads, the school is engulfed by grief. From hero to villain in one night, Marcus' sister and best friend, Aaron, bear the brunt of it alone. Marcus is trapped in the hospital and they don't know if he'll ever wake up to face the two charges of vehicular manslaughter to his name. Swamped by her older brother's guilt and encouraged by her spirit animals, Wing must learn a new way to cope before the weight of Marcus' guilt breaks her. She starts to run - an act she'd avoiding since childhood - and she's good. With Aaron's help and the slim glimmer of hope that her athletics will help Marcus, Wing joins the track team and shocks not only her classmates, but her mother and Grannies too.
Dealing with issues surrounding drink driving, bullying, and racism, this coming of age story is highly recommended to people thirteen and up.
Kayla Gaskell, university student

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