Flight (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)

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Flight: A Novel

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Editorial Reviews

S. Kirk Walsh
Mr. Alexie is no stranger to this brand of gutsy writing. With 17 volumes of fiction and poetry to his name, he has established an impressive literary reputation as a bold writer who goes straight for the aorta. He is in the business of making his readers laugh and cry. And his most recent novel is no exception … Right up to the novel’s final sentence, Mr. Alexie succeeds yet again with his ability to pierce to the heart of matters, leaving this reader with tears in her eyes.
— The New York Times
VOYA - Jan Chapman
"Call me Zits." This playful echo of Melville opens this remarkable new novel. The book's narrator, Zits, is an abused, American Indian, teenage orphan who is racking up the world's record for shortest stays in foster homes. More from boredom than rage, Zits acts out at his current foster home and ends up on the streets. Picked up by the police and sent to juvie hall, Zits meets a young anarchist named Justice, who persuades Zits to take part in a bit of political theater by performing a "ghost dance" at a local bank. Justice gives Zits two guns to make his demonstration more realistic-which results in Zits being shot in the head by a bank guard. The story now takes a turn worthy of Kurt Vonnegut. Zits embarks on a bizarre time-travel journey, where at each jump he inhabits various bodies, including an FBI agent who is investigating an Indian Rights Movement; a Sioux child present at the Battle of Little Big Horn; and the body of his own father. It is a redemptive vision quest for Zits, and through each experience, he faces moral dilemmas that help define his own sense of justice and purge his desire for revenge on a world that has abandoned him. This book is the perfect adult/teen crossover novel. Its unusual mix of bildungsroman, science fiction, and social satire will appeal to older teen fans of Vonnegut's novels. Although the book is not one of Alexie's more nuanced works, the captivatingly drawn character of Zits will resonate with teen readers a long time after the last page is turned.
Library Journal
We've had to wait ten years, but finally Alexie offers another novel: the tale of an orphaned Indian boy who must hunt through time to find out who he is. With a 100,000-copy first printing; 25-city tour. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781417788484
  • Publisher: San Val, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 3/28/2007
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 181
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Sherman Alexie
A National Book Award-winning author, poet, and filmmaker, Sherman has been named one of Granta's Best Young American Novelists and has been lauded by The Boston Globe as "an important voice in American literature." He is one of the most well known and beloved literary writers of his generation, with works such as The Long Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven and Reservation Blues and has received numerous awards and citations, including the PEN/Malamud Award for Fiction and the Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Award.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 22 )
Rating Distribution

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 22 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2014


    She ran in, spotting a line of rocks. As fast as she could, she rolled a ball of moss between the rocks with her, dodging each one as it came to her. She leapt up onto a boulder on the end, catching the sight of a sapling. She leapt down upon it, snapping the stick. She pinned it from springing back up, then sat. "I should go back...."

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2014

    Darkness Following ~ Part Two Of Chapter Two

    By TMS

    Fireheat arrived, out of breath. Sandstorm dashed to him. "Fireheart, what happened? And where is Bluestar?" "N-nothing." Said Fireheart and left. The next day, Sandstorm and Fireheart mated. The day after that, Cinderpelt lept on High Rock and called the clan. As soon as Fireheart arrived, she asked, "Fireheart, tell us." Fireheart took a deep breath and said, " Bluestar and I went on a border patrol. We came to a shallow creek....and....Bluestar slipped...and died." Gtg Now. Part in the afternoon.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2014

    History wing


    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2014

    I was never interested in books, period. When I was 15, I read t

    I was never interested in books, period. When I was 15, I read this book and fell in love with it. This book has inspired me to read way more than I have ever read in my life. Now, I'm currently reading "The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fist-Fight in Heaven" as a senior in high school  and it is an amazing book so far... 

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  • Posted February 29, 2012

    Pleased the high school reader in me.

    Even in high school I was never a big fan of middle school/high school aimed books; finding very few that weren't gushing 'after school specials' or magic.

    Being in my mid 20's I was hesitant to read this book after reading reviews about it's adolescent nature, but Sherman Alexie's books are the gold in my library treasure so I decided to push reviews aside and give it a go.

    I found it to be brilliant. I read it in one sitting (it is a particularly easy read) and really portrays real emotion, enough for me to believe in the character. I connected with him.

    I'm also a history fan, so the scenes of history were also pleasing.

    While I wouldn't recommend this to a middle schooler due to language, I think a mature adolescent could handle this book. I also believe that adults would love this book if they just approached the book for what it is.

    Cheers Mr.Alexie!

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  • Posted February 26, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    a refreshing departure

    Published in 2007, "Flight" is one of Sherman Alexie's more recent novels. His critically acclaimed YA debut "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" came out a few months after "Flight's" publication. Together these novels illustrate how teen narrators can comfortably inhabit both adult and young adult novels. More about that later.

    The book starts with a simple request from the narrator: "Call me Zits. Everybody calls me Zits." In other words, the narrator has no name. Given the structure of the novel, this choice actually works. Throughout the story, Zits is rarely called by any kind of name that would be termed as his own. The opening line also tells readers everything they need to know about Zits. Specifically that this fifteen-year-old half-Irish, half-Indian kid doesn't think enough of himself to bother using his own name. Worse, Zits is pretty sure no one else thinks much better of him.

    Orphaned at six and in foster care since he was ten, Zits has slipped through the cracks and is truly a lost soul. After an unceremonious exit from his twentieth foster home and his latest stint in the kid jail in Seattle's Central District, Zits starts to think that maybe he doesn't really need a family. Maybe what he needs is some kind of revenge.

    But things don't go as planned. Instead of punishing the white people who are abstractly responsible for his present situation, Zits finds himself on a time-traveling, body-shifting quest for redemption and understanding.

    Zits' first "stop" is inside the body of a white FBI agent during the civil rights era in Red River, Idaho. From there he moves to the Indian camp at the center of Custer's Last Stand, then a nineteenth century soldier, a modern pilot with his own variety of demons and, finally, Zits finds himself in a body more familiar than he'd like to admit.

    As many other reviewers are quick to point out, "Flight" is Alexie's first novel in ten years. Unlike previous works, where characters and plots intersected (even in his short stories), this novel remains disjointed. It's the kind of book that could easily be seen as a grouping of short stories. Except that each segment follows Zits' spiritual evolution. For this reason, the novel is obviously much more character driven than plot driven. But Alexie makes it work.

    Finally, a word on the ending of the novel: It's optimistic. There is some talk that the ending is too up, that things come together a bit too easily. In terms of the plot that could be true although I'm more of a mind that the ending was already in the works from the beginning (the fact that "The wounded always recognize the wounded" and other events support me in this claim).

    Some have claimed that the happy ending might be reason to suggest that "Flight" is a YA book because only a book written for teens would have such an abrupt ending. That's bogus. This is an adult book that teens can enjoy and the ending doesn't change that. After reading this novel it becomes clear that Zits has been through a lot. Way more than any fifteen-year-old should have to take. For Alexie to end the novel in any other way would have been a slap in the face both for Zits and the readers invested in his fate.

    "Flight" is a really quick read (I finished it in a day) and entertaining throughout. The novel doesn't have the depth of character found in "Reservation Blues" or

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  • Posted October 23, 2011

    Flight To Remember

    Flight by Sherman Alexie is a very adventurous and touching story about a boy named "Zits" whose real name is Micheal goes through countless amounts of bodies in order to see many individuals lifestyles and to help him to learn from them. Micheal isn't quiet the normal 15-year-old teenager. When he was 7-years-old his mother had passed away and when he was born his father abandoned his mother and him. Ever since Micheal's mother passed away his life fell apart and he came into the life of a young juvenile growing up. One day, Micheal decided to walk into a bank and was suppose to kill everyone in it. However, Something came over him that made him transform into another body, From being a young 15-year-old teenager to an American General who kills Indians, to the body of a Pilot, the body of a father with three beautiful children and a lovely wife, the body of a homeless man and many other countless amounts of bodies. While going through all of these lifestyles in which Micheal had to experience, made him think a lot about his own life as "Zits" and how he can learn from all of these people's bodies that he has been in, to try and become a better person. I think that this book was truly a life changing experience for me and made me think about the young teenagers in the world today who are trapped in the body of juveniles because of abandonment and betrayal, when deep down they are really hiding their feelings and they really are good people. I would definitely recommend this book to a friend and I give it 5 stars! Job well done Sherman Alexie.

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  • Posted October 28, 2009

    more from this reviewer


    "Sherman Alexie is America's wooden cigar store Indian." - unknown

    A quote I found on the internet I once hated and now believe. Mr. Alexie you used to be about something. The last time I heard you speak was in 2000 and it was remarkable. I've read most of your earlier books and have enjoyed them very much. And now in these past couple of years it's turned into this absurd eff this and eff that garbage every other sentence. You are not Bill Hicks. You are not Sam Kinison. You are Sherman Alexie. You've disappointed me. During those years of being away since Ten little Indians what happened to you? What would make you conjure up such a phony eff the world act. What sort of crap did you see, hear, or read in that time. It doesn't fit the Sherman Alexie I once heard all those years ago. What could it be? You've disappointed me.

    "I'm worried about young writers. I'm worried about new writers. I'm worried about the native kids out there that need my stories. And for just thirty dollars a book they too can escape the reservation of their minds." - Sherman A.

    Mr. Alexie. You used to be someone I could be proud of. And now. Your just America's wooden cigar store Indian.

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2008

    Glad it was a Quick Read

    I decided to pick this up after reading 'What You Pawn I will Redeem,' a short story of Alexie's which is great. I think this book would be great for middle schoolers, perhaps. The book has an agenda and it's loud and clear. I saw Alexie reusing material from the one and only short story of his I read before which was a little disappointing. It was good the first time, but seeing it reused wasn't amusing. I feel writers need to put more effort into their writing than I feel Alexie did here. I read the book in one day, so that goes to say it's short.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2008

    Flight to Family

    Flight is an amazingly reminiscent tale of growing up and into a family. The story of a troubled youth sent on a wild journey through time which brings to him the understanding of what his life is really worth, and his need for a family troubled his mind. Flight brings readers back to their youth, a time when time travel and happily-ever-afters are as possible as macaroni and cheese. The startlingly relatable character Zits tells his story in language understandable to today's teenagers. His honest, funny, and heart breaking approach to growing up in a society that challenges his situation is refreshing and original. Zits's ability to capture the problems of every teenager- acne, relationships, and family- and to explain the situation of his background and his final understanding of this is punctuated by his clear and direct description of his thoughts and feelings. I recommend this book to readers who would like to be reminded of imagination and still learn about a current social issue concerning our society today.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2008

    youth struggles

    In this captivating novel, Sherman Alexie creatively depicts the struggles of a poor American Indian orphan as he takes the reader on an unforgettable journey. He takes us through time with the main character, Zits, who indwells the bodies of several characters consisting of an FBI agent, a young Indian boy, an Indian tracker, an airplane pilot, and his own, homeless father. When in the bodies of these extremely different characters, he is forced to deal with situations that are out of his control. The overwhelming theme of violence is portrayed in each situation, and creates thought-provoking questions about the morality of murder. These questions cause the reader to contemplate the violent scenarios that Zits is forced to encounter, thereby causing the reader to further develop their own sense of morality. They also give insight to the American Indian struggle through time from the Battle at Little Big Horn, the civil rights movement when the government put many restrictions on Indians, to the present day lives of American Indians. Zits¿s passionate character is developed through these experiences creating a highly entertaining and deeply emotional novel.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2008

    Flight captivates and teaches

    Sherman Alexie¿s novel Flight is more than just a story it serves to instruct as well as to entertain. It is wonderful to see that there are still those who understand that to teach through stories is one of the best methods of teaching. While instructional, the book does not lose its entertaining and gripping quality. The events of the book somewhat resemble a sort of science fiction in their improbability of occurrence with current technology levels, and yet future technology cannot explain the events satisfactorily either. This serves to keep the reader wondering and interested. The writing style seems similar to that of a book in the young adult reading level, but the subject matter, and the message of the book almost require, and will certainly speak to, older readers. That is the one reservation to a recommendation of the book, that portions of it may not be appropriate for younger audiences. That aside, the book is an excellent example of an instructional story, in a time in which it seems fewer stories are being written to teach.

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    Posted October 29, 2008

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    Posted September 28, 2012

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    Posted August 6, 2009

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    Posted March 24, 2009

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    Posted July 21, 2010

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    Posted October 26, 2008

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    Posted October 25, 2008

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    Posted December 30, 2008

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