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by Trent Reedy

When his dad announced they were moving to Iowa, Brian looked forward to making some new friends. But on his first day there he makes an enemy instead -- Frankie Heller, the meanest kid in town. Brian needs to hang out with someone cool to get back on track. . . .Alex has always been the coolest guy around, and good with money, just like his dad. But now the family is struggling, and he needs to make some cash to keep up appearances. Then an opportunity falls in his lap . . . .Max is a scientific genius, but his parents are always busy with their own work. Building an actual plane should get their attention -- if only he wasn't scared of heights . . . The answer to all three boys' problems starts with Max's secret flyer. But Frankie and the laws of popularity and physics stand in their way. Can they work together in time to get their plan AND their plane off the ground?
Download Stealing Air epub
ISBN: 0545383072
ISBN13: 978-0545383073
Category: Children
Subcategory: Growing Up & Facts of Life
Author: Trent Reedy
Language: English
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books; 1 edition (October 1, 2012)
Pages: 288 pages
ePUB size: 1361 kb
FB2 size: 1806 kb
Rating: 4.1
Votes: 504
Other Formats: mbr doc azw lit

Donated to school library. Perfect!
It's often difficult to find a book that will appeal to both boys and girls. This book is filled with page-turning action, believable characters, the challenges of navigating school and friends, and adventure that keeps one turning pages to find out what will happen next. This is a winner!
Please understand that all my reviews focus on the interests of my middle school students. I never do a full plot synopsis in a review.

Despite giving this book a five star review, I am not going to pretend that it is great literature. It is just a fun story about three adventuresome and creative sixth grade boys: Brian, a somewhat introverted boy who is trying to use a move to a new town to become more outgoing; Max, a totally not-cool nerd, who is nonetheless worth befriending and incredibly brilliant; and Alex, who always checks the chill factor (will this make me look cool?) before doing anything.

I enjoyed the book because these boys are my students. Not literally, of course; but this is a pretty accurate picture of the insecure, growing, reckless, unsure, and fun kids that I work with every day. If you believe the media and the "experts," children today are all engaged in much-too-mature, inappropriate, etc. behaviors. Well, not the vast majority of kids I have in my classes. When I chaperone dances, the boys are all on one side and the girls on the other. Even the ones who are "dating" slow dance at maximum distance possible to still be holding one another. Most of what they "know," they are just guessing at. Are there kids who DO know more than they should, who engage in age-inappropriate behavior, etc.? Of course. Now, name me a time when this wasn't the case. God didn't create a new species while we weren't paying attention. Kids are kids are kids are kids.

The characters are well developed and the plot moves along briskly. The "romance" in the story is hilarious at times, but also very touching; it reminds me of my experience with my first "real" girlfriend (although I was in the seventh grade). In short, this book is for middle school kids and is a definite five-star for that crowd.

I am excited about the skate boarding descriptions in the novel. Trent Reedy (the author) must board. I started and chaired a skate board club for five years at our middle school until we finally shamed the town leaders into building a skate park for the kids (and saving money on putting those ugly "no-anything" signs all over town). I have a lot of reluctant readers who are avid skate boarders. I'm hoping they will give this book a try.
Three young boys with stolen airplane material can only lead to disaster. Brian is getting ready to attend a new school because of his dad’s new job. He enjoys skateboarding, flying airplanes and hanging out with his friends. But his dad sold their Cessna to pay for the new business and Brian needs to make new friends. His first day of meeting people doesn’t exactly end well. He makes an enemy of the local bully, gets befriended by a social outcast, and must begin keeping secrets from his family. Brian must decide how to handle the bully, commit social suicide and fly a plane without a cockpit in this wild and crazy tale of boys growing up. If he can make the right decisions he’ll be able to make lifelong friends, save his dad’s business and stay alive. Young boys will revel in the daring exploits and moan with sympathy at the stories of school and social life. The book is about life, decisions and trust. While the crazy stunts that are pulled are not for timid parents, the message is something that every parent wants their child to embrace.
This book is geared towards ages 8 to 12.

I received this book free of charge from Children's Literature in exchange for my honest review.
It is a story of dreams and bullies and science. Brian and his family have a lot of adjusting to do. They've just moved to Iowa, and Brian's father is desperately trying to refine his invention before the whole family falls apart. Add a bully and a nerd to the mix and you have the makings of a fairly interesting plot. Brian has some of his father's inventive spirit and, before too long, he's teamed up with the science nerd on a plan that might save his father's business and his family.

It was an okay read for me. I can't recommend you run out and buy it, but if it happened to be placed in your hands, you have nothing to lose. It is worth the time you will spend reading it. The story takes awhile to get into but is a solid read. The characters are very believable and realistic, but the plot sometimes stretches credulity. The romance with the bully's sister was a nice twist. The real pleasure for me in this book was seeing a group of young people set their sights on a common dream and do everything in their power to make this come true. It's a good role model for a generation of young people who sit around watching TV and playing video games. Go outside!

There are some parts of the book I found horrifying, as a mom and teacher. I hope no real child would ever do the airplane test. It's a great way to end up very dead, very quickly. Of course, this danger aspect will make it very appealing to young male readers. There's a lot about skateboarding and building homemade airplanes. It should come with a warning: don't try this at home!