Reader Reviewed Wing Jones by Katherine Webber

Wing Jones

Written by Katherine Webber
Illustrated by Luke Lucas

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

January 2017 Debut of the Month | In a Nutshell: Losing your way | Running for your life | Finding your feet | 12+ A beautifully bittersweet debut in which a teenage girl discovers a latent talent that shines light on the darkest of times.

Fifteen-year-old Wing Jones lives with her mom, her big brother Marcus (a high school sports hero), and her brilliantly portrayed, bickering grandmothers, Chinese LaoLao and Ghanaian Granny Dee. “I can’t blend in but I don't stand out” is how Wing sums up her place in the world, and her insecurities are cruelly exacerbated by the racist prejudice of peers who mock her appearance and mixed race heritage. The family are doing their best to get on with their lives (Wing lost her cop father in a shooting) when a second tragedy strikes. But, in the midst of this agony (“I didn’t know it was possible for a heart to break in so many ways”), Wing is struck by an overwhelming urge to run and discovers that she’s an incredibly talented athlete. It turns out that nurturing this gift - and not blending in - might just be the very thing that gets her family back on track.

Set in the run-up to the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, this is an expansive, heartfelt tale of loss, first love and self-discovery, and readers will truly root for Wing. Highly recommended for fans of Jandy Nelson and Rainbow Rowell. ~ Joanne Owen

Reader Reviews

Teens & YA's love to read and so in addition to the review by one of the Lovereading4kids editorial experts some of our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel members were also lucky enough to read and review this title. Click here to read their full reviews.

  • Imogen Breaks, age 14 - 'Wing Jones is a fast paced, emotional novel like no other. It kept me engaged from the first chapter and I didn't want it to end. It was an intriguing book and I really enjoyed it.'
  • Humaira, age 18 - 'I love that this book wasn't just about romantic love but about love for family and explores these particular relationships exceptionally well.'
  • Sofia Saghir - 'a beautiful and heart breaking description of grief, passion, family and romance. This is definitely a book to look out for in 2017 and Katherine Webber is going to be a force to be reckoned with.'
  • Chloe Shortall - 'The book shows that despite differences, people can still come together. I would recommend this book to readers who enjoyed books by Jandy Nelson and John Green.'


Wing Jones by Katherine Webber

With a grandmother from China and another from Ghana, fifteen-year-old Wing Jones is often caught between worlds. But when tragedy strikes, Wing discovers a talent for running she never knew she had. Wing's speed could bring her family everything it needs. It could also stop Wing getting the one thing she wants.


Already lots of buzz about the debut from Booktrust staffer Webber and it's well deserved, an immensely readable novel about family. [...] Running is key to Wing's self-discovery and these scenes are some of the most striking in the book, really inspirational to see such a positive storyline about girls and sport. Bookseller

About the Author

Katherine Webber

Katherine Webber was born in Southern California. She studied Chinese literature and language at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and comparative literature at the University of California, Davis. She has lived and worked in Hong Kong, Hawaii and Atlanta. She currently lives in London with her husband, where she works for the reading charity BookTrust. Travel, books and eating out are her favourite indulgences. She also spends far too much time on Twitter. Come and say hello to her . Wing Jones is her first novel.

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Book Info


384 pages
Interest Age: From 12 years


Katherine Webber
More books by Katherine Webber


Walker Books Ltd

Publication date

5th January 2017




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