Imagine a cross between Savvy and The Mysterious Benedict Society, but with (I think) more heart than either of them, and you will maybe get an idea of The Girl Who Could Fly, by Victoria Forester (Feiwel and Friends, 2008, 329 pp).
Piper McCloud is the only person in Lowland county, perhaps the whole country, or the whole world, who can fly. Appalled by her little girl's talent, Piper's mother has determinedly kept her away other children, and on the ground.
"Piper, my mind's made up and there ain't no changing it or arguing around it. There ain't no earthly cause for a youngen to be meddling about up in the sky."
But at last, when Piper is nine, her mother agrees to let her go to the town's 4th of July fair, and there Piper's resolve not to fly fails, and she soars up into the sky to catch a baseball.
All heck breaks loose, and the McCloud farm becomes a media circus. Then mysterious special forces arrive, secure the farm (very dramatically), and make Piper an offer she can't refuse--the chance to go to a government school, for special children like herself. With a wooden bird carved by her father clasped tightly (the bird is important), Piper enters the Institute. It seems at first a utopia--a chance to make friends with a truly extraordinary group of kids, more physical comfort than she's ever dreamed of, delicious food. But this utopia for the specially gifted comes with a hefty price, one that Piper can never pay...
A lovely story! Piper might not be the smartest girl around, and she sure talks a lot, but she has a great heart.
The Girl Who Could Fly has been nominated for the Cybils Awards in the Sci Fi/Fantasy category, and I could easily write more about its message, the interesting talents of the other children, what Piper ends up doing while at the Institute, what the real purpose of the Institute is, etc, but I would probably end up being too spoilerish, and I have to go read more of the 161 books now...