The Girl Who Could Fly
starts out in with your typical farm girl
in your typical Midwestern town
. Her hobbies include milking cows, speaking in a Funetik Aksent
, and practicing her flying skills
. Wait, what?
It's Little House on the Prairie
. The story follows Piper McCloud
from birth, where her family discovers that she can float. Her parents try to keep her from the other children and convince her that floating is bad, but an insatiable curiosity soon grips hold of her, and one day she jumps off the roof to try flying. Luckily, she succeeds. It's not long before word gets out, and we learn that a town that could, as far as we know, be in the 1860s is still in the modern age as a helicopter arrives to take her to the Institute of Normalcy, Stability, And Non-Exceptionality. Just look at the acronym if the name doesn't convey the intention well enough.
The novel is written rather well from the point of view of a ten year old girl, has some genuinely surprising twists, and deconstructs and reconstructs the concepts of optimism, normalcy, happiness, and what makes a person special.
- All of the Other Reindeer: Piper at home
- Blue Blood: Conrad. His parents seem to think it exempts them from anything else.
- Boomerang Bigot: Dr. Hellion can fly.
- Break the Cutie: Poor Piper. She gets better.
- Brought Down to Normal: INSANE's plan is to do this to every creature with superpowers.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: Dr. Hellion breaks Piper's legs and mindwipes her through torture. Also happens to the rest of the creatures in INSANE, as they cannot be psychologically broken.
- Commonality Connection: Over strawberry ice cream.
- Covers Always Lie: Inverted in one of the mainstream covers, which features Piper flying while Dr. Hellion pursues her and gives away a major plot twist. Of course, you could assume that it was a metaphor for Dr. Hellion holding the children down, or that she was just hanging on to Piper.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Conrad's reaction to having his project changed.
- Dishing Out Dirt: Boris can turn things into rocks, including people.
- Everything's Better with Rainbows: Bella can produce one
- Flight: Surprise!
- Freudian Excuse: Dr. Hellion used to fly, until she accidentally dropped her sister in a storm and killed her. She suppressed the memory, which turned into a violent hatred of all things special.
- Funetik Aksent: Professor Mumbleby. Also applies to Piper.
- Healing Hands: Jasper discovers this when he heals Piper's legs.
- I Just Want to Have Friends: Piper at the picnic.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Conrad's behaviours make sense later on.
- Kick the Dog: Millie Mae, literally.
- Kill the Cutie: Sebastian.
- Love at First Sight: Boris to Lily.
- Meaningful Rename: Conrad agrees to give up his last name.
- Mundane Solution: After all the elaborate plans to break out, Piper and the others just go to Dr. Hellion's office and let her know they are taking over the facility. They then lock up the guards, rescue and heal the other organisms, and let themselves out. It's pretty hard to stop a bunch of superpowered kids, after all.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Okay, it's a bit of a spoiler, but did you really expect anything good from a woman named Dr. Hellion?
- Parental Abandonment: Conrad.
- Personality Powers: Piper, the idealist, can fly.
- The extremely shy Violet literally shrinks smaller and smaller the shyer she feels. The trope is also averted with some characters; Lily's telekinesis has nothing to do with her personality.
- Pink Is for Sissies: Junie Jane is not a soft girl: she hates pink.
- Power of Friendship: Piper is delighted with getting along with the other children at the institute.
- Psychic Powers: Lily has telekinetic abilities.
- Punny Name: A lot. Names tend to reflect personalities or powers.
- Piper McCloud (flying), Bella Lovely (positivity), Violet (shrinks when embarrassed)
- Shrinking Violet: A very literal example with Violet.
- Shock and Awe: Kimber.
- These Look Like Jobs For The Supermen: Discussed when the kids decide what they want to do with their powers when they grow up. Most want to do things that would end up on this page, although Smitty does want to go into crime-fighting (as a detective, which his X-Ray Vision would be useful for). The epilogue reveals that many of the kids are at these jobs.
- Too Clever by Half: Conrad, which leads to a What the Hell, Hero? moment.
- Twin Banter: Nalen and Ahmed Mustafa. They are identical and are always Finishing Each Other's Sentences
- Weather Manipulation: Nalen and Ahmed can create storms.
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: Deconstructed and reconstructed in the character of Piper.
- Wonder Child: Subverting most of it.
- Worthy Opponent: Lily regards Piper as this when the latter puts two and two together and manages to foil a prank involving a glass full of water.
- Youthful Freckles: Piper doesn't like them.