«“Inclusive, authentic, and eminently readable, this collection of shortstories is an excellent addition for libraries and classrooms.” —School Library Journal starredreview
«“A natural for middle school classrooms and libraries, this strong collectionshould find eager readers.” —Kirkus starred review
«“…there’s plenty of magic in this collection to go around.” —Booklist starredreview
Congratulations! I am pleased to share the FLYING LESSONS has been chosen as one of Brightly’s 50 Best Books for 11 and 12 Year Olds! We could not be more proud to watch this book reach and shape readers. It’s a true testament to your hard work. Please find the full list of Brightly selections in the hyperlink above.
Full Trade Reviews
«School Library Journal, November 2016
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 Peña, Jacqueline Woodson, Soman Chainani, Grace Lin, Walter Dean Myers, TimFederle, Meg Medina, Tim Tingle, and Kelly Baptist. De la Peña’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 aresuffering 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 welcomingNew 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.–DianeMcCabe, John Muir Elementary, Santa Monica, CA
«Kirkus, October 1, 2016 Edited by We Need Diverse Books co-founder Oh, a collection of short stories that embraces a wide cultural spectrum of authorship. Readers feel the angst that comes with getting to know the cool new California girlat a Pennsylvania school in Tim Federle’s “Secret Samantha,” narrated by gender-nonconforming Sam. They’ll thrill to Grace Lin’s “The Difficult Path,” the tale of a young Chinese servant girl who is captured by pirates, who save her from an arranged marriageto a horrible young boy from a wealthy family. Kwame Alexander contributes a short story in verse about a young Star Wars geek who is head over heels with the school’s prettiest girl. Perhaps most poignantly, there is “Sometimes a Dream Needs a Push,” abouta boy whose basketball-star father gives his wheelchair basketball team some crucial pointers, from Walter Dean Myers. These stories and others—from Matt de la Peña, Meg Medina, Kelly J. Baptist, Tim Tingle, Jacqueline Woodson, and Soman Chainani—ably containuniversal themes: friendship, sibling rivalry, parental embarrassment, first crushes, and the trials and challenges that school can bring. Thumbnail biographies of the contributors and an introduction to the genesis and work of We Need Diverse Books round outthe volume. A natural for middle school classrooms and libraries, this strong collection should find eager readers.
This collaboration with We Need Diverse Books has no single overarching theme. Instead, its 10 award-winning contributors bring their own diversity to individual, idiosyncratic stories that reflect a variety of themes and subjects.The book is dedicated to the late Walter Dean Myers, who is well represented in the collection with his satisfying story about a physically challenged boy, his father, and wheelchair basketball. Though the stories are roundly excellent—authors include KellyJ. Baptist, Grace Lin, Tim Tingle, and Meg Medina—a few do stand out. Matt de la Peña writes about a young Latino boy for whom basketball is a way out to a better life. Tim Federle tells a lighthearted story about Secret Santas and the gift of friendship. Thenthere is Jacqueline Woodson’s beautiful offering about love, loss, and an interracial friendship; Soman Chainani’s irresistible tale about a lonely American boy on vacation with his Auntie Mame of a grandmother; and Kwame Alexander’s teasingly imaginative storyin verse about a boy who acquires a magic power—or does he? No matter if he doesn’t, for there’s plenty of magic in this collection to go around.