Friday, March 10, 2017

Flying Lessons and Other Stories

Cover image for Flying lessons & other storiesThis is the children's fiction book that has received the most starred reviews so far this year.  It is a collection of short stories by some famous children's authors that each deal with diversity.  I listened to the book electronically. Each story has different narrators and producers.  Some are read by the author, and some are doing by voice actors.  This collection is part of a campaign called, "We need diverse books."  I liked the fact that the stories presented children from a variety of races, cultures, and abilities, but none of the stories was really about, "Whoa is me, it is so tough to be _________"  They were mostly just a slice of real life for a black person in a white city, or a boy in a wheel chair, or girl making a new friend from a different culture,  etc.  My favorite story was the title story, mostly because I could relate with the main character.  He is a boy who is really good at academics, but not very good socially.  He wants to make friends, but doesn't know how and he lacks confidence to even try.  The author really pegged what it felt like to be me as a child, and to some extent, still me today.  The fact that the boy was half Indian, half white American, visiting Spain with his grandmother, didn't obscure the common humanity I felt with the character. I think this is the main strength of this collection; a feeling that, in the end, we have more in common than we think. (218 p)

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