Skip Navigation
We use cookies to offer you a better browsing experience, provide ads, analyze site traffic, and personalize content. If you continue to use this site, you consent to our use of cookies.
Celebrate a nation of diverse readers with these recommended books, authors, and teaching resources.
Join us
The Chance to Fly book cover

The Chance to Fly

New to New Jersey, White thirteen-year-old musical theater enthusiast Nat Beacon lands a role in a local production of Wicked over the objections of her overprotective parents who want her to continue to focus on wheelchair racing.
The Chance to Fly book cover

Share this book

  1. Experimenting with writing for musical theater will get students engaged in the creative process, build communication skills, and provide dramatic new opportunities for celebrating Read Across America. Musicals, according to director Bob Fosse, include "I Am" songs: a song that introduces a character, their personality, and their role in the plot and "I Want" songs: a song that expresses a character’s desire and motivations.
  2. Have students review the lyrics for "The Wizard and I" from Wicked. Discuss as a group whether this is an “I Am” song or an “I Want” song. Ask students to share any other “I Am” or “I Want” songs they are familiar with. Then, ask students to write lyrics for an “I Am” or “I Want” song for Nat, the main character from The Chance to Fly. They should create at least one verse. Then, have students share something about themselves through song! Have them write an “I Am” or “I Want” song about themselves and invite students who wish to perform their song to share.

Questions for Discussion or Reflective Writing

  1. What’s the significance of the title? Why do you think the authors chose this title for the book? What’s the significance of the chapter titles?
  2. What were some of the challenges Nat faced? How are these challenges similar to or different from things you’ve faced? What strengths do you think you have to face your challenges? How do those strengths compare to Nat’s?
  3. How does being a person with a disability complicate Nat's relationship with her parents?
  4. What do the Broadway Bounders do that help Nat feel included? How do they support her when adults have trouble seeing past her wheelchair? Have you ever made an incorrect assumption about someone’s abilities that you later corrected, or felt like someone made an incorrect assumption about your abilities?

Related Resources

Celebrate a nation of diverse readers with these recommended books, authors, and teaching resources.

Stay on top of current education news

Sign up to learn more about the important issues affecting our nation’s public schools and students.
A woman and her son use a laptop together

Join Our Community of Readers

Are you a teacher, librarian, educator, author, or devoted book worm? Join the Read Across America Facebook group to share resources, ideas, and experiences as we celebrate a nation of diverse readers.
National Education Association

Great public schools for every student

The National Education Association (NEA), the nation's largest professional employee organization, is committed to advancing the cause of public education. NEA's 3 million members work at every level of education—from pre-school to university graduate programs. NEA has affiliate organizations in every state and in more than 14,000 communities across the United States.