Flying Lessons & Other Stories

Reading Level: 4th − 5th Grade

Whether it is basketball dreams, family fiascos, first crushes, or new neighborhoods, this bold short story collection--written by some of the best children's authors including Kwame Alexander, Meg Medina, Jacqueline Woodson, and many more and published in partnership with We Need Diverse Books--celebrates the uniqueness and universality in all of us.

"Will resonate with any kid who's ever felt different--which is to say, every kid." --Time

Great stories take flight in this adventurous middle-grade anthology crafted by ten of the most recognizable and diverse authors writing today. Newbery Medalist Kwame Alexander delivers a story in-verse about a boy who just might have magical powers; National Book Award winner Jacqueline Woodson spins a tale of friendship against all odds; and Meg Medina uses wet paint to color in one girl's world with a short story that inspired her Newbery award-winner Merci Suárez Changes Gear. Plus, seven more bold voices that bring this collection to new heights with tales that challenge, inspire, and celebrate the unique talents within us all.

AUTHORS INCLUDE: Kwame Alexander, Kelly J. Baptist, Soman Chainani, Matt de la Peña, Tim Federle, Grace Lin, Meg Medina, Walter Dean Myers, Tim Tingle, Jacqueline Woodson

"There's plenty of magic in this collection to go around." --Booklist, Starred

"A natural for middle school classrooms and libraries." --Kirkus Reviews, Starred

"Inclusive, authentic, and eminently readable." --School Library Journal, Starred

"Thought provoking and wide-ranging . . . should not be missed."--Publishers Weekly, Starred

"Read more books by these authors." --The Bulletin, Starred

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School Library Journal

Starred Review

Gr 4-6--This anthology, published in partnership with We Need Diverse Books, presents 10 short stories from a stellar list of authors: Kwame Alexander, Matt de la Pena, Jacqueline Woodson, Soman Chainani, Grace Lin, Walter Dean Myers, Tim Federle, Meg Medina, Tim Tingle, and Kelly Baptist. De la Pena's linguistically grooving basketball story will have readers swaying in their seats. Verbal roadblocks are hurled at the protagonist from the street-smart players inside the gym: he's too young, too skinny, too Mexican. His resolve yields multiple life lessons on and off the court. Woodson's haunting "Main Street" follows Celeste, the only girl of color in an all-white New Hampshire town, and her friendship with lifetime resident Treetop. Both are suffering from different losses: Treetop's mother has recently passed away, and Celeste isn't accepted in her new home. Their warm connection soothes their mutual pain and promises to last even after Celeste and her mother decide to return to familiar and welcoming New York. Each tale offers realistic and fully developed characters with whom a wide range of readers will identify. VERDICT Inclusive, authentic, and eminently readable, this collection of short stories is an excellent addition for libraries and classrooms.--Diane McCabe, John Muir Elementary, Santa Monica, CA

Copyright 2016 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Publishers Weekly

Starred Review

This short story collection, edited and introduced by We Need Diverse Books cofounder Oh, features 10 stories "for all of us" from authors who include Kwame Alexander, Soman Chainani, Meg Medina, and Walter Dean Myers. Each story stands on its own, but the collection as a whole highlights the importance of perspective, perseverance, wonder, courage, and creativity during the middle school years. A thoughtful entry from Matt de la Pena, written in second person, centers on a Mexican-American teenager who does well at school but sees basketball as a "path to those tree-lined lives they always show on TV." In Grace Lin's delightful "The Difficult Path," literacy proves an unexpected ticket to a life with pirates for a Chinese girl eager to escape an arranged marriage. And Jacqueline Woodson's elegiac "Main Street" focuses on the relationship between an 11-year-old white girl and her "tall and brown and beautiful" best friend in a New Hampshire town where "the leaves were the only color." Thought provoking and wide-ranging, this first anthology from WNDB should not be missed. Ages 8-12. Agent: Barry Goldblatt, Barry Goldblatt Literary. (Jan.)

Copyright 2016 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

"There's plenty of magic in this collection to go around." —Booklist, Starred

"A natural for middle school classrooms and libraries, this strong collection should find eager readers." —Kirkus Reviews, Starred

"Inclusive, authentic, and eminently readable, this collection of short stories is an excellent addition for libraries and classrooms." —School Library Journal, Starred

"Thought provoking and wide-ranging, this first anthology from WNDB should not be missed."
—Publishers Weekly, Starred

"Whether or not middle-schoolers read the afterword . . . they are sure to agree that they need to read more books by these authors, whose storytelling styles and genuine feel for adolescent struggles and triumphs will inspire them to seek out their other work." —The Bulletin, Starred
Classification
Fiction
ISBN-13
9781101934623
Lexile Measure
800
Guided Reading Level
-
Publisher
Crown Books for Young Readers
Publication date
August 14, 2018
Series
-
BISAC categories
JUV013030 - Juvenile Fiction | Family | Multigenerational
JUV038000 - Juvenile Fiction | Short Stories
JUV030060 - Juvenile Fiction | People & Places | United States
Library of Congress categories
Children's stories, American
Short stories
JUVENILE FICTION / People & Places / United S
JUVENILE FICTION / Family / Multigenerational
JUVENILE FICTION / Short Stories

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