In a Flash

Overview

The first flash mob Ian puts together himself is a sixty-plus person, four-minute pillow fight in a department store. His friend Oswald is thrilled with the event, but Julia, the one Ian really wants to impress, is still convinced that flash mobs are stupid. While Ian tries to prove Julia wrong by initiating flash mobs with political impact, Julia is busy waging war with the strict new principal at school. When Julia goes too far and gets herself suspended, Ian sees an opportunity for a relevant and persuasive ...

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In a Flash

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Overview

The first flash mob Ian puts together himself is a sixty-plus person, four-minute pillow fight in a department store. His friend Oswald is thrilled with the event, but Julia, the one Ian really wants to impress, is still convinced that flash mobs are stupid. While Ian tries to prove Julia wrong by initiating flash mobs with political impact, Julia is busy waging war with the strict new principal at school. When Julia goes too far and gets herself suspended, Ian sees an opportunity for a relevant and persuasive flash mob.

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Editorial Reviews

NMRLS Youth Services Book Review
"A fine book for challenged readers to use to practice and thus improve their reading. I plan to look for more titles in this series."
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"This is a smart and tightly crafted story with appeal for reluctant as well as avid readers."
Resource Links
"This story challenges the reader to consider the power of a single person, or a few people, to make a difference, to change the status quo."
Tucson Unified School District
"Highly recommended."
Southwestern Ohio Young Adult Materials Review Group
"A good message...Young people do have the power to make things better if they work together."
The Horn Book Guide
*no details*
CM Magazine
*No details*
Children's Literature - Sarah Maury Swan
Ian organizes a flash mob using his FaceBook page, e-mails and phone texting. This time, participants have a four minute pillow fight in the bedding section of a department store. His best buddies, Oswald and Julia, come along. Ian and Oswald think gathering with a bunch of strangers who have been alerted to this event is great fun. In Julia's eyes a pillow fight is pointless and stupid. If Ian wants to organize a flash mob, he should do it to protest social injustices. She reminds him of the successful protest he did the year before to have a local fast food restaurant serve healthier food. Their high school has a new principal who bans school dances because of trouble at previous ones. Julia is outraged, and, in the end, Ian figures out how to protest the dance ban in a peaceful and fun way. As a subplot, the three kids have been friends for most of their lives, but now Ian is having romantic thoughts about Julia. She and Oswald dated the year before, but it did not work out. Ian does not want to upset Oswald, but he is tempted to date Julia. This book is novella length and has some merit, but it did not really float my boat initially. On second reading, it grew on me. Reviewer: Sarah Maury Swan
School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up

Ian and Oswald like to orchestrate flash mobs-impromptu gatherings of strangers arranged on Facebook or by text messages. Whether organizing public pillow fights or staging standing ovations on street corners, the friends live for the five minutes of managing crafted chaos. Friend and student-body president Julia, however, finds their hobby a waste of time. When a new, militant principal assumes control of their school, the boys view his stringent discipline as helping to clean up a poorly run institution, whereas Julia, who dislikes the man because he lacks respect for the student council, feels his rules are domineering. After Principal Roberts cancels a dance, Julia coordinates a boycott of school for a day. Fearing suspension or losing Julia's friendship, Ian capitalizes on his own flash-mob tactics and mobilizes the pupils in the ultimate peaceful protest. Snappy, realistic dialogue; multidimensional characters; and an unpredictable plot (not to mention a hip, contemporary phenomenon) will have both reluctant and struggling readers madly flipping the pages. This fast-paced read is a good companion to Avi's Nothing but the Truth (Scholastic, 1991) as an example of an alternative type of student demonstration.-H. H. Henderson, Heritage Middle School, Deltona, FL

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781554690343
  • Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/1/2008
  • Series: Orca Currents Series
  • Pages: 112
  • Sales rank: 683,728
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Lexile: HL620L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 4.30 (w) x 7.00 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Eric Walters began writing in 1993 as a way to entice his grade-five students into becoming more interested in reading and writing. At the end of the year, one student suggested that he try to have his story published. Since that first creation, Eric has published more than seventy novels. Often his stories incorporate themes that reflect his background in education and social work and his commitment to humanitarian and social-justice issues. He is a tireless presenter, speaking to more than seventy thousand students per year in schools across the country. Eric is a father of three and lives in Mississauga, Ontario, with his wife, Anita. For more information, visit www.ericwalters.net.

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Read an Excerpt

There was a playful combat everywhere. I didn't have time to look around, but there had to be close to a hundred people around me, yelling, laughing and swinging their pillows.

On the edges of the battle other people watched. THere were grown-ups holding their kids by the hand or loaded down with shopping bags, looking stunned or amused or confused. Some laughed and pointed, and others hurried away like they were scared. There had to be almost as many people watching as there were participating.

One of the pillows burst, and a million white feathers shot into the air like a billowing cloud! The crowd—watching and fighting—erupted into gasps and screams and laughter.

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