Flying Solo

Flying Solo

4.3 72
by Ralph Fletcher
     
 

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When the substitute for Mr. "Fab" Fabiano never shows up and his sixth-grade students are on their own, they set out to prove that they can run the class by themselves. With a little ingenuity and some careful planning, they might just succeed. But when a fight breaks out between Bastian Fauvell and Rachel White over a classmate, Tommy Feathers, who died six months

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Overview

When the substitute for Mr. "Fab" Fabiano never shows up and his sixth-grade students are on their own, they set out to prove that they can run the class by themselves. With a little ingenuity and some careful planning, they might just succeed. But when a fight breaks out between Bastian Fauvell and Rachel White over a classmate, Tommy Feathers, who died six months earlier, everything begins to fall apart. Can Rachel deal with the anxieties that plunged her into silence the day Tommy died? Inventive and uniquely constructed, "Flying Solo" follows Mr. Fab's students hour by hour as they tackle the challenges of an unusual school day.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Heidi Green
What does a sixth-grade class do when left unsupervised for a day? That is the premise of Fletcher's Flying Solo, in which the substitute calls in sick to the wrong person, messages aren't delivered, and a class must decide what to do when left on their own for the day. Written in a style similar to Konigsburg's A View from Saturday, Fletcher's work is a winning tale of adolescent camaraderie and group dynamics. The students deal with some serious issues (loss, death, and responsibility) without losing their sense of humor. This novel is both captivating and well paced.
School Library Journal
Gr 4-8-Fletcher follows members of a sixth-grade class through a day when their substitute teacher never shows. The students decide not to report that they are alone and to run the class by themselves. Personal issues are woven into the day's events. Rachel has been mute since a classmate who had an annoying, unrequited crush on her died six months before. Bastian, an Air Force brat used to moving, has to decide whether to subject his beloved puppy to a lengthy quarantine when he moves to Hawaii the following day. Sean's alcoholic father and unnurturing home life make him too shy to express his feelings, especially his crush on Rachel. Karen, a natural leader and "good child," takes the reins in the class, making her own evaluations of right and wrong. Jessica, whose parents are judgmental, can't get past her fear of recrimination to enjoy the class' freedom. The students learn about themselves and one another, and several issues are resolved by the end of the day (e.g., Rachel speaks, Bastian gives his puppy to Sean). The resolutions are simple but not pat, the prose is economical but not sparse, and the characters are developed as sketches rather than in-depth portraits, which helps keep the book moving briskly. The premise will make the novel easy to booktalk. Not a must-have, but a worthwhile purchase.-July Siebecker, Hubbard Memorial Library, MA
Kirkus Reviews
The rich and complex emotional lives within a classroom of unsupervised students boil toward eruption the day an exceptional teacher is absent. When the designated substitute for Mr. Fabiano's sixth-grade class calls in sick, her message is overlooked in the chaotic office, and the children find themselves without a teacher. Rather than report it, and led by Mr. Fab's lesson plans, they run the class themselves. But powerful emotions are brewing under an otherwise ordinary day's surface: Tommy, a classmate who was often teased for his slowness, has been dead for exactly six months and the class's guilt over their treatment of him hasn't been addressed; Rachel, who hasn't spoken since Tommy died, is about to break her silence; and Bastian, often a bully, is making life- changing decisions on what has become his last day in school. Although Mr. Fabiano only appears at the end, his presence is felt on every page; Fletcher (Twilight Comes Twice, 1997, etc.) creates a testament to effective teaching in his realistic portrait of Mr. Fabiano as both caring and intelligent. A novel that is funny, real, and often moving. (Fiction. 10-12)

From the Publisher

"Fletcher expertly balances a wide variety of emotions...thoughtful, absorbing novel...a story that will linger long after the book is closed." Booklist, ALA, Starred Review

The rich and complex emotional lives within a classroom of unsupervised students boil toward eruption the day an exceptional teacher is absent....Fletcher creates a testament to effective teaching in his realistic portrait of Mr. Fabiano as both caring and intelligent. A novel that is funny, real, and often moving.
Kirkus Reviews

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780547501758
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
11/10/2008
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
144
Sales rank:
131,525
Lexile:
590L (what's this?)
File size:
0 MB
Age Range:
10 - 12 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"Fletcher expertly balances a wide variety of emotions...thoughtful, absorbing novel...a story that will linger long after the book is closed." Booklist, ALA, Starred Review

The rich and complex emotional lives within a classroom of unsupervised students boil toward eruption the day an exceptional teacher is absent....Fletcher creates a testament to effective teaching in his realistic portrait of Mr. Fabiano as both caring and intelligent. A novel that is funny, real, and often moving.
Kirkus Reviews

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