From Tony Award–winning actress Ali Stroker and Stacy Davidowitz, The Chance to Fly is an inspiring and heartfelt middle-grade novel about a theater-loving girl who uses a wheelchair for mobility and her quest to defy expectations—and gravity.
“The perfect read for any dream chaser. . . . You’ll realize how unlimited your possibilities are.” —Tony and Emmy Award–winning actress and singer Kristin Chenoweth
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 onstage. 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?
Includes a Sneak Peek of Nat Beacon’s Next Story, Cut Loose!
About the Author
Ali Stroker is a Tony Award winner for her role as Ado Annie in the 2019 revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! She made history as the first actor in a wheelchair to appear on Broadway in Deaf West’s acclaimed 2015 revival of Spring Awakening. Since then, she’s performed on stages across New York as well as in movies, such as Christmas Ever After, and countless shows, including Echoes, Only Murders in the Building, Ozark, Ten Days in the Valley, The Glee Project, Glee, And Just Like That, Big Nate, and Alice’s Wonderland Bakery. Her mission to improve the lives of others through the arts, disabled or not, is captured in her motto: “Turning your limitations into your opportunities.” Stroker is the proud author of the acclaimed novel The Chance to Fly as well as the picture book Ali and the Sea Stars. Stacy Davidowitz is an acclaimed author and playwright. Her star-reviewed novel The Chance to Fly, coauthored by Tony Award–winning actress Ali Stroker, was named a best children’s book of the year by the Chicago Public Library, Parents, and Bank Street College of Education. It was also selected by the National Education Association as a featured title for Read Across America. Davidowitz is best known for her four-book Camp Rolling Hills series, inspired by her coauthored Camp Rolling Hills the Musical, which continues to have productions across the country. She is also the author of the Hanazuki chapter book series based on Hasbro’s YouTube series. She has written award-winning plays that have been produced regionally and internationally, and are published by Broadway Play Publishing, Stage Rights, and YouthPLAYS. When she is not writing, she teaches creative writing, female empowerment, and musical theater in schools, camps, foster care facilities, and juvenile detention centers. She is a proud graduate of Tufts University and Columbia University, where she earned degrees in drama, psychology, and acting. Fun fact: growing up, Davidowitz was in seven productions of Annie. She lives in upper Manhattan with her husband and twin boys. Learn more about Davidowitz online, where in addition to all things books, you can watch clips of her performing as a kid.
“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
"Fun, honest, and uplifting: applause!" —Kirkus Reviews
**STARRED REVIEW** "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
"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
"A story both fine and also uplifting—in both senses of the word, moral and physical!"—Gregory Maguire, author of Wicked