Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Flying Solo by Ralph Fletcher

Imagine you are in 6th grade. Your teacher is gone and a sub is coming. The school bell rings and there is no sub. The class takes attendance and still no sub. What do you do? Karen, a natural leader in the class, goes down to the office and DOES NOTHING. Yahoo. Free day. Right? Well...not exactly. Told from the point of view of Fletcher (not the author-it's the main characters name), discover how a class handles the disappearance of their teacher and sub. Tension mounts as they try to hold class without adult supervision. From Rachel, the mute, to Bastian, the not-so-nice teaser, students get some homework done, goof around some, and fight some. Things reach a climax when they discuss the death of a student that happened in the fall learning that maybe they need to act differently toward each other.

This book has a good pace and some of the issues are resolved at the end of the novel. I like the image/metaphor of flying and how it was used throughout the story. The story reminded me of the Because of Mr. Terupt by Rob Buyea where students learn to be responsible for their actions and grieve the loss of someone. I like how Fletcher doesn't give easy answers and choices such as Bastian's choice to give his pet away as being more for his pet than because he has a generous heart. He's mean in his teasing of others and this made sense to me and made the character's choice authentic. I do think the students would have goofed around more than they did, but that's debatable. Another terrific book by Fletcher and a great read aloud.

Reading Level 5.8

:-) :-) :-) :-) 4 out of 5 Smileys


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