Best Fiction for Young Adults (#BFYA2024) Featured Review: I Kick and I Fly by Ruchira Gupta

  • I Kick and I Fly
  • by Ruchira Gupta
  • Publisher: Scholastic Press
  • Release date: April 18, 2023
  • ISBN: 9781338825091

Heera is a member of the Nat, a historically low caste of nomadic people known for their acrobatics, juggling, and wrestling. Her people have been forced to stop travelling and entertaining and with their income source taken away, they believe their only source of income is selling their daughters into the sex trade. With her family facing starvation, Heera knows this will be her fate just like that of grandmother and her beloved cousin. Fortune strikes when Heera is invited into a hostel for endangered girls where she learns kung fu and just how powerful she really is.

In her debut novel, Ruchira Gupta delivers a novel about a global social justice issue facing teenagers around the world. Teens will learn a lot from this one, while also enjoying the taut energy of a powerful story.

This novel is for the teen readers who like a fast-paced stories as well as any teen reader interested in novels featuring female empowerment and body autonomy. Recommend this to anyone who enjoyed Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay, We Are Not From Here by Jenny Torres Sanchez, or What Unbreakable Looks Like by Kate McLaughlin.

-Gia Ruiz

Other Nominated Titles

The Selected Lists teams read throughout the year in search of the best titles published in their respective categories. Once a book is suggested (either internally or through the title suggestion form), it must pass through a review process to be designated an official nomination.

Each week, the teams feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation are listed as well. At year’s end, the team will curate a final list from all nominated titles and select a Top Ten.
The Best Fiction for Young Adults Committee appreciates teen feedback as members evaluate the nominated titles. Teen librarians are encouraged to share the List of Potential Nominees under consideration with their patrons and solicit feedback using the link: