Stealing Air by Trent ReedyAdolescent Fiction
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!