|About the Book|
In this story for young readers, a girl who lives in one of North Americas most famous stopping-off points for migratory wildlife poignantly identifies with a late-season Monarch butterfly. The story has a double relationship: To a childs sense ofMoreIn this story for young readers, a girl who lives in one of North Americas most famous stopping-off points for migratory wildlife poignantly identifies with a late-season Monarch butterfly. The story has a double relationship: To a childs sense of place and security, and to a wondrous natural phenomenon that is all about movement.Set in Cape May, NJ, When the Monarchs Fly tells of a young girl who overhears her parents talking about moving. She keeps her fears to herself. In October she finds a Monarch, its wings tattered, in their backyard. She has always been fascinated with the great and colorful flight of these delicate creatures each fall. But that night there is a frost, and in the morning she finds the butterfly with wings upright and frozen.All her grief about her own leaving is lavished on the butterfly. She insists that her father build a tiny raft, and the girl, her father and mother set the Monarch on the raft on the outgoing tide of the Delaware Bay.As Halloween approaches, the black and orange decorations remind her of the butterfly, and her own sorrow at moving is strengthened. She secretly patches together a costume of Monarch colors, and on Halloween night she puts it on. The effect is sadly electrifying -- like an actress who puts on her costume for the first time and is overwhelmed by the act.She rushes out among the costumed children of the neighborhood. She runs to all the places of her neighborhood she has loved -- to visit them and touch them and take nothing. But she is just a small, young girl, and her running and high emotion go beyond her strength. Coming out of a house, she falls and lies dazed. The rescue squad is called, and although she isnot badly hurt, she is put upon a stretcher, much like the Monarch on its raft. Amid her tears, she tells her parents she knows the family is moving and she doesnt want to go- she loves everything too much. There is a scene of reconciliation. The father promises that if they move, no matter where they go, each autumn he will bring her back during the time of the Monarchs.