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STEALING AIR by Trent Reedy


by Trent Reedy

Age Range: 9 - 13

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-545-38307-3
Publisher: Levine/Scholastic

Skateboarders, boy or girl, will know the terms getting air, half-pipe and ollie, but, can three boys “steal” enough air to fly a homemade airplane?

Brian, a skateboarder newly moved to Iowa, Max, a Trekkie and inventor, and Alex, an oddsmaker and entrepreneur, band together to secretly build an airplane. Getting it to fly depends on Plastisteel, a steel-infused polymer, which Brian’s parents and Max’s mother are trying to manufacture. The setup is obvious from the start: The boys will use their plane to demonstrate to a potential investor that Plastisteel will work and save the company. Even with Brian’s flying experience with his dad and Max’s brains, the first two attempts fail (of course), but their persistence pays off, and the third succeeds. Plot threads of bullying, a bit of romance, peer pressure, a pigout eating contest and good-old-fashioned ingenuity keep the story moving. Implausibility is sky-high, but the boys’ determination will keep readers going. Tankfuls of aeronautical know-how may deter some readers; numerous references to Beatles music are balanced by the thoroughly modern devices they play on.

Part Hardy Boys, part Gary Paulsen, part Skateboard Magazine for Kids, this can appeal to mechanical-minded, skateboarding enthusiasts. (Fiction. 9-13)