Gwen is a nine year old girl with a passion for reading. She befriends the new librarian at her local library, who suggests an unusual looking book. The lines blur as Gwen becomes one with the story, learning lessons that she uses to help her friends and family and, ultimately, herself.
She could feel the wind in her hair. Abby pedaled harder as the hill drew closer. The bicycle's tires made a crunching noise as they rolled through the dirt. Harder. Harder. Push. As she ascended the hill, Abby's heart felt as if it would burst. Faster. She let out a giddy laugh as she approached the peak. At the supreme moment of inertia, when the weightlessness of cresting the mound took over, Abby stood up on her pedals, stretched out her lilac wings, and flew off into the clouds.
Gwen smiled wistfully, closing the book and her eyes as she leaned back against her satin pillow. This was her third time reading "The Girl Who Could Fly," and yet each time she turned over the final page felt like the first. It was one of her favorite books, given to her by her Aunt Meredith on her last birthday. Name day. That's what the royals in "Dragon's Roost" called it. Each year, Aunt Meredith presented her a beautiful leather-bound literary treasure. She carefully placed a sticker inside each cover, a black cat sitting proudly on a stack of books with the words Ex Libris written in a princely font, and would inscribe Gwen's name and the year of the gift.
This year's name day had not been Gwen's favorite. Sure, once again Gavin made certain to point out that he is two minutes and eighteen seconds older than her. And, she had to endure another gathering of her relatives when secretly she simply longed to curl up in her favorite chair, with her favorite satin pillow, and read Aunt Meredith's latest recommendation. But this year her May celebration marked more than the end of the school year. It marked the end of elementary school.
Gwen turned nine years old, as did Gavin. Gwen finished fourth grade a month later, as did Gavin. Gavin would be starting fifth grade next month at Holly Hollow Elementary. Gwen, however, would be starting sixth at Riverdale Middle School. Gwen's teacher and her parents made the decision to move her ahead. In reality, she was reading well above her peers, and her schoolwork demonstrated it. She almost skipped the fourth grade, but it was decided that it would be best to keep her in elementary school one more year.
She guessed it would be easier this way. To be separated from Gavin would be strange, but at least they would be at different schools so she wouldn't have to explain why her twin brother is in a grade lower. At least, not at first. It was a nerve-wracking proposition, but Gwen knew she had her books for protection.