FLIGHT by Elizabeth Stow Ellison


Age Range: 8 - 12
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Samantha’s family tries to be as middle-class normal as their mother wants, but they all struggle in their own way. Andy, the eldest, in his senior year is the most successful, playing football, running for Homecoming King and generally living out the dream. Second son Evan has never succeeded at anything except his drawing and causing trouble. The youngest, Sam, is an acute observer and realizes her parents are not helping. Mom is involved in community projects and Dad retreats to his workshop to make birdhouses to sell at work. It’s all about the façade. Sneaking out late one night with Evan, Sam sees three owls in flight, which symbolize the freedom to soar that Evan wants. Lacking even the ability to read, however, he seems doomed. Their parents’ head-in-the-sand attitude about Evan’s needs perplexes both Sam and readers, until gradually Sam begins to realize that more is hidden than she realized. Despite a slow start, the plot gradually builds and pulls readers into Sam and Evan’s dilemma, which their socio-economic status only makes worse. Absorbing, despite Sam’s occasionally tiresome rants. (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-8234-2128-2
Page count: 246pp
Publisher: Holiday House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2008


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