By: Peter Vu
Genre: YF - Children's & teenage fiction & true stories
Published by: Ford Street Publishing
Published: 01 Aug 2017
ISBN: 9781925272765


This story describes the life of a cancer patient in a way that no other young adult book does, focusing not just on living with cancer, but going through it, with the help of patience, love, and friendship. Despite the ever-growing tumour in his head, Adam just wishes he was normal.

This is until his latest operation, when everything seems like a lost hope, and he knows he isn’t normal. He doesn’t know what to do, because there is nothing he can do. All he feels he has left are his friends. But that may be all he needs.


I am thrilled to review the first book that I have ever had a hand in getting to print. This book was brought by my attention by one of our long term staff, Don Schepis. The novel was written by a friend of his son, and when I was first presented with it, my initial reaction was ‘here we go again’. Being in the job that we are, everybody seems to have or know of a book that “must” be published that we need to read and, to be honest, we are not publishers.

The ‘sick-lit’ genre, particularly of a young cancer sufferer has been hugely popular recently. In short, I read the manuscript of this book and I loved it. So we committed to buying it for our Standing Order, and convinced Paul Collins, from Ford Street Publishing, to publish it. The rest, as they say, is history.

Author Peter Vu was diagnosed with a brainstem glioma at the age of six and has constantly battled with the illness since. He talks with real experience, and gets to the core of the psyche of someone with this experience. But Paper Cranes Don’t Fly is not an autobiography. It is a novel, and you will love main character Adam Auttenberg.

Adam is warm, self-deprecating and honest. Adam’s life revolves around his family, and his two forever best friends, AJ and Tess. They have an inseparable bond and a deep love for each other that will often bring you to tears.

I will not spoil such a great story, other than to say it is regularly set in a hospital and friendship, love and hope resonate throughout. It is a particularly sensitive and emotional story, that is superbly written and full of love. Tess and Adam have an amazing platonic love for each other that will fill your heart with joy. It is a truly great book that I am thrilled to see published, and I am sure it will become a huge hit.

Reviewed by Rob