Rainer Maria Rilke

"Live a while in these books, learn from them what seems to you worth learning, but above all love them. This love will be repaid you a thousand and a thousand times, and however your life may turn,-it will, I am certain of it, run through the fabric of your growth as one of the most important threads among all the threads of your experiences, disappointments, and joys."--Rainer Maia Rilke

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Don't Try This At Home

Stealing Air by Trent Reedy

Adolescent 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!

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