Monday, June 11, 2007

Flight by Sherman Alexie

I love Sherman Alexie’s work, so I was eager to get my hands on his new teen fiction book Flight.

The protagonist, a hurting, “half-breed” foster kid who only wants to identify himself as Zits is headed for trouble—the tragic, mass murder kind. And then, he becomes the receiving end of a miracle. He becomes a body-jumping time traveler (yes, kind of like the TV show Quantum Leap) who jumps into the body of a murderous FBI agent in Red River, Idaho in the ‘70’s, a young teenager at Little Bighorn, an Irish Indian tracker in the 1800’s, a middle age pilot, and a middle age drunk, homeless Indian. In each of these instances, he is faced with choices and motivations that are not his own, all involving death, but he is offered them as experiences to learn from.

I know that some adults would be uncomfortable letting their teens read this because Zits is defiant or because of the coarse language—it will definitely be immediately challenged in plenty of libraries across the country—but this is a kid of the streets, and kids of the street talk tough and tend to have more issues than usual with adults. I think this book should be on the list of encouraged readings in every high school library.

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