Fly by Night by Frances Hardinge
Release Date: October 7th, 2005
Age Group: Children’s Middle Grade
Source: Bought at a Used Bookstore
Series: Fly by Night (#1)
Other Titles in the Series: Fly Trap (#2)
Summary (goodreads.com): Twelve-year-old Mosca Mye hasn't got much. Her parents are dead, her cruel uncle keeps her locked away, and her only friend is her pet goose. But she does have one small, rare thing: the ability to read. In a world where books are dangerous things, this gift will change her life—but it may also be the death of her.
First off, this book isn’t exactly what is advertised. The summary makes it seem as if the fact that Mosca can read is what will be the most important plot point and while it is pretty important it isn’t the main thing of the story. Neither is the big warning on the cover “Imagine a world in which all books have been BANNED” accurate, all books are not banned just those not printed by the Stationers Guild. Fly by Night is much more than either the summary or the cover imply.
Fly by Night is one of those children’s books that can be read at any age. There are complex plot lines and characters and politics that to a child would seem fantastical, but to adults would seem all too familiar. Fly by Night has one of the most thought out worlds that I have read and everything is important to the story and all of it is incredibly interesting. I would call it a fantasy without magic. Mosca and Clent were incredibly well-written and by the end of the book I felt as if I really knew them. Saracen the goose was a welcome addition to their little crew, too. I love when authors give pets personalities, I don’t know why but it just makes me like the whole book more if you have a funny animal. Reading this book gave me a whole new appreciation for words. Mosca loves words and by the writing I could tell that it was the author’s love that created Mosca. I recommend this to all those who love words and the complex worlds those words build!