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Middle School January 2019 (2)

August 1st, 2018 | Posted by schliesman in 2018-2019 | 2018-2019 Middle School | Middle School | January

book cover
Oh, Ellen, editor.
Flying Lessons & Other Stories. Crown, 2017. 218 pages (978–1–101–93459–3)

Ages 9-14

“Blame my Uncle Kenneth. Everybody else does.” (Tim Tingle) “It’s a lot of pressure to pick a good elf name.” (Tim Federle) “Nani wears a fur coat to the beach.” (Soman Chainani) Whether starting with irresistible opening lines like these, or easing more quietly into the lives of their characters, the 10 short stories in this anthology are wonderfully crafted slices of life. Whether funny or poignant, painful or hopeful (and most are a combination), these stories featuring mostly contemporary older children and teens are widely varied in style and setting. The unifying theme is this: Everyone’s voice matters, everyone has a story. What the stories also have in common are vividly realized characters whose lives feel genuine and are exceptional to the extent that every child and young adult is exceptional—singular and needing to be seen. Inclusion itself should not be exceptional, however. It should be deep and genuine and meaningful as it is within and across these pages featuring diverse writers—something foundational to the vision of this work that models how any anthology, regardless of theme, should be conceived. The result is a collection of stories that will spark recognition, and connection, and enjoyment for all readers in a multitude of ways. Additional contributors include Kwame Alexander, Kelly J. Baptist, Matt de la Peña, Grace Lin, Meg Medina, Walter Dean Myers, and Jacqueline Woodson. ©2018 Cooperative Children’s Book Center

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