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Wenny Has Wings

Wenny Has Wings

For Ages: 8 - 12
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In the fight with the truck barreling toward them, Wenny and Will lost big. Wenny lost her life. Will lost a sister -- and lost faith in himself.
But then Will starts writing letters to Wenny. He tells her all about the secret of his near-death experience, and the troubles he's having at home. Some letters are funny. Some letters are harsh. And when read together, they tell the story of a boy who finds a way to move past death and learns how to live again....
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  • Atheneum Books for Young Readers | 
  • 240 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780689867590 | 
  • June 2004 | 
  • Grades 4 - 8
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

Dear Wenny,

I died too. Not when the truck first hit us, but right after in the hospital. I had a broken leg and a ruptured spleen, and I was bleeding inside and outside. I was pretty messed up by the truck, and while they were trying to fix me, my heart stopped for a whole ten minutes.

I sped through a tunnel when I died, then I flew around in the sky. I'd be flying up there with you still if Dr. Westfall hadn't put two paddles on my chest and shot electric energy into my heart.

Those paddles must have had a lot of power, because they sucked me back inside my body. Once my heart started pumping again, the... see more

Reading Group Guide

Having had a near-death experience in the accident that killed his younger sister Wenny, eleven-year-old Will tries to cope with the situation by writing her letters that are in turn humorous, informative, angry, and finally an honest realization of life's twists and turns.
Family; Death; Letter writing; Afterlife; Brothers and sisters
• From what Will writes to Wenny, what kind of person do you think she was? How do her parents remember her? Are these memories changed because Wenny is dead? Why do Will's parents become so upset when he wants to make Wenny a birthday cake or when he is in her room?
• When Will tries to tell the adults about the light and tunnel, how do they react? Why do you think they did and said the things they did to Will? If you had a friend who had a near-death experience, what do you think you would say to them?
• Do you believe that near-death experiences really happen? If a situation similar to this were to happen to you, would you tell anyone? Why or why not?
• Visit the author's website (, click on "Teachers/Librarians," and read Carey's description of the Child Hero. Use the website questions to explore Will's situation.
• Choose either a book character that has died or even a real person and keep a journal of letters to this character or person.
• Have a tarant see more

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