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Flying Solo Paperback – November 10, 2008


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 4 - 7
  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (November 10, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0547076525
  • ISBN-13: 978-0547076522
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 5.2 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,464 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 4-8-Fletcher follows members of a sixth-grade class through a day when their substitute teacher never shows. The students decide not to report that they are alone and to run the class by themselves. Personal issues are woven into the day's events. Rachel has been mute since a classmate who had an annoying, unrequited crush on her died six months before. Bastian, an Air Force brat used to moving, has to decide whether to subject his beloved puppy to a lengthy quarantine when he moves to Hawaii the following day. Sean's alcoholic father and unnurturing home life make him too shy to express his feelings, especially his crush on Rachel. Karen, a natural leader and "good child," takes the reins in the class, making her own evaluations of right and wrong. Jessica, whose parents are judgmental, can't get past her fear of recrimination to enjoy the class' freedom. The students learn about themselves and one another, and several issues are resolved by the end of the day (e.g., Rachel speaks, Bastian gives his puppy to Sean). The resolutions are simple but not pat, the prose is economical but not sparse, and the characters are developed as sketches rather than in-depth portraits, which helps keep the book moving briskly. The premise will make the novel easy to booktalk. Not a must-have, but a worthwhile purchase.
July Siebecker, Hubbard Memorial Library, MA
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Gr. 5^-8. What happens when a sixth-grade class is left unsupervised for a whole day? One might imagine that anything but learning would occur. But when a class usually led by a gifted teacher is left to its own devices, something unusual happens: when the substitute teacher fails to show, the children in Mr. Fabiano's class decide to run the day according to the strict but enjoyable routine ingrained in them by their creative, beloved teacher. Rest assured Fletcher's characters aren't goody-goodies. Rather, they are coconspirators as a countdown clock builds the tension: Will they make it through the day without being found out? As they go through their rote exercises, the kids gain self-assurance and self-reliance. They also come to terms with their feelings of guilt, grief, and sorrow about a classmate who died six months earlier. Fletcher expertly balances a wide variety of emotions, giving readers a story that is by turns sad, poignant, and funny, and, little by little, realistic portraits of the complicated kids emerge. There's no Lord of the Flies anarchy in this thoughtful, absorbing novel, which has a story that will linger long after the book is closed. Kathleen Squires --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Ralph Fletcher is a friend of young writers and readers as well as writing teachers. He has written or co-authored many books for writing teachers includng Writing Workshop: The Essential Guide, Teaching the Qualities of Writing, Lessons for the Writer's Notebook, Boy Writers: Reclaiming Their Voices, and Pyrotechnics on the Page: Playful Craft That Sparks Writing. Ralph has worked with teachers around the U.S. and abroad, helping them find wiser ways of teaching writing.

Ralph's many books for students include picture books (Twilight Comes Twice, Hello Harvest Moon, and The Sandman), novels (Fig Pudding, Flying Solo, and Spider Boy), poetry (A Writing Kind of Day and Moving Day), and a memoir, Marshfield Dreams: When I Was a Kid. His novel Uncle Daddy was awarded the Christopher medal in 2002. He has also written a popular series of books for young writers including Poetry Matters, Live Writing, and A Writer's Notebook. Ralph lives with his family in New Hampshire. He is a strong environmentalist who believes we all must work together to live in a more sustainable way. His other passions include travel, good food, dark chocolate, growing orchids, and sports.

Customer Reviews

I think anyone that wants to read this can.
Marrion Elementary Readers
It is about Mr. Fabiano's sixth grade class that took responsibility without a teacher to run the class throughout the day.
hnkirlin
I really liked how there were lot's of characters and I liked the format of the book.
Madalyn

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Chris Missonak on March 27, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Flying Solo made be cry so many times it's not even funny. The heart-warming story of selective mute Rachel White, Sarcastic puppy-loving Bastian Fauvell, shy drunken-fathered Sean O'Day, and future cheif justice of supreme court Jessica Cooke, will guarantee to change your life. The story is about a very non-typical April 28, the sixth month anniversery of the death of Tommy Feathers a kid who had a huge crush on Rachel, where Mr. "Fab" Fabiano's class is left without a teacher. This day is narrated by Rachel as she goes through a day like no other. A day where "Kids Rule!"
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Barbara A. Flynn on March 8, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I read Flying Solo aloud to my 6th grade class. They had previously heard Someone is Hiding on Alcatraz Island. Flying Solo doesn't have the mystery of Alcatraz Island, but it deals with other important issues for 6th graders today. One student thought it was "neat" to hear the story through the various characters' point of view. I had them write a letter to me when we finished. They were to tell me their opinion and they were to answer the question: Have you ever mistreated a student in this class? They were very honest. I loved it. My class didn't feel they could ever"fly solo." (They're right next door to the school office.) Enjoy this book. We did!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 31, 2003
Format: Paperback
This story is about a Teacher, Mr. Fabiano. He is planning a vaction. When the subsitute calls in and say's she sick, the people in the school forget. So, Mr.Fabs class is left alone. It was Bastains, the brat, last day at the school, so they did a rock ritual. They got stones and said something good about him. When it was Rachel Whites turn, because, when Tommy Feather's died she never talked anymore, she wrote down things that said how Bastain was mean to Tommy. This is a great book. The one thing I abseoultetley love so much is that this could really happen. Not one of those book's that is so fake not even the chareceter's could be real. This story is great and it is a fun story, figuring out if the class will go steady for one day, but then, sad, bacause the only person is Rachel who remembers that it was Tommy Feathers 6 month anniversery for his death. This book is for everybody!!!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on January 1, 2003
Format: Paperback
Flying solo is a great book. I found out about it in the book Fig Pudding, and I thought the excerpt was good. My best friend and I fought over the book in Library, even though I found it first, but I came over his house later that day and I borrowed it, and I spent all night reading it.
What happens in the story is a girl named Rachel White decides to remain silent, and she hasn't talked for six months. One day, The teacher, Mr (Fab)iano, planned a vacation, and the substitute is sick, leaving Mr. Fabiano's class teacher-less. The class decides to run the class themselves, and I'm sure anyone would like to party when there is no teacher, but with Karen Ballard around, the natural-born leader, the class is doing their own work. Things go pretty well in the class until Bastian Fauvell, air-force brat's rock ritual, with deep emotions from Rachel White about Tommy Feathers, the boy who died exactly six months ago.
I loved this book because it is very exciting with a sad touch to it. This is a great book. But I have read one other Ralph Fletcher book, Fig Pudding, and in both of these someone dies. I don't like it that much, But it can actually spice up the whole story. Flying Solo is sort of based on the death of Tommy Feathers unless the book wouldn't be as good. I much prefer this over Fig Pudding, but that's just me. If you like excitement with deep emotions, read this book!!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Marrion Elementary Readers on March 19, 2013
Format: Paperback
Review by E.K., age 10 (5 Stars *****)

I would give this book 5 stars because it is a school adventure and it is a life lesson. The theme is not to lie to the principle and tell the truth. The life lesson is not to lie but tell the truth.

The story is about a lot of people one is named Sky he is from north California, there is a girl named Rachael she is obsessed with planes, Karen is a girl with black hair and she was a born leader. Then there is Jessica she is a neat freak and she is the tallest person in her class, Bastian is a guy who loves puppies and his dad was in the army plus his real name is Sabastian. Christopher is a nasty spoiled kid and his mom is president of the P.T.A. and Sean is a short girl.

The setting in the story is school and the story all starts with Rachael, Jessica, and Karen. Miss Munchmore can't make it to school on Friday, so the class has to make it through the day without a teacher and with out any body noticing.

My favorite part of it is when they have to make it through the day with out a teacher.
The conflict of the book is man vs. himself. The conflict of the book is man vs. himself because Rachael thinks it was her fault that Tommy feathers died because when Tommy Feathers offers her a pie and she didn't accept it.

In conclusion, I would recommend this book to a fourth grader because I think you should read it and take the challenge. See if you can figure out the rest of the important parts. You should try to figure out the most important part of the book.

Review by B.M., age 10 (4 Stars ****)

I think this book deserves four stars because it's a life lesson tied in with a school adventure.

It all starts with three girls Rachel, Karen, and Jessica. Their teacher Mr.
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