Fly a Little Higher

by Laura Sobiech

review | Katie Wisniewski

Zach Sobiech is a typical 14 year old hailing from Minnesota—smart, active, and kind.  He had his whole life ahead of him when he noticed a pain in his hip after a run one day.  The last thing on his mind was cancer, but he was diagnosed with osteosarcoma a few weeks later.  He beats it the first time, but it eventually returns.  It is when doctors tell him he is terminal that his story and life became known to the world. Written by his mother, Laura, this is a tear-inducing book that offers an amazing way to look at life despite what it may throw your way.

After he was given his diagnosis, she suggested that Zach begin writing letters to loved ones - to release feelings, emotions, struggles, whatever it may strike his heart to write about!  Having always been interested in music and playing the guitar, he decides letters aren’t his “thing” and starts writing songs instead.  Zach and his family decide that rather than letting his diagnosis kick them to the ground, they would allow it to speak to the world. 

It is through God’s grace that Zach and his family learn to live life to the fullest despite knowing how short it would be.  He refuses to allow cancer to steal time away from his friends and family.  His song, Clouds, put his message on blast and opened so many doors to spread it!  He got to check so many items off his bucket list: doing a music video, working with music producers, getting signed to a label, and singing on a few of Minnesota’s most famous music stages. His song, Clouds, eventually made #1 on the iTunes charts just days after his death in 2013, creating a frenzy in his family’s world. Zach wanted to leave a positive mark on this world even though he would leave it much earlier than intended and it definitely seems that he succeeded.

Note: Although this book was published in 2014, I am ever so thankful to Target for adding it to the “Club Pick” list.  Otherwise, I probably would never have found it on shelves last year.  Reading this may require a box of tissues at times, but the message is totally worth it!  After you’re done reading, check out his short documentary on You Tube channel SoulPancake, titled “My Last Days”.