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  • An African Alphabet
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Learning to Fly
By author: Paul Yee
Selling Points: "Immigrants, drugs, friendship"
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Pub Date: Oct/01/2008
Lexile Level: HL540L
Fry Reading Level: 3.4
Pages: 136
Fiction Ages 12+
Price:  $9.95
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The train swings around the curve. Its one headlight races toward us. High on the engine's nose, a window glints. The ground is shaking. I watch the train. It comes closer and closer. I dash to the tracks, watching a fence on the other side. Noise and wind swallow me. I jump.

Jason is an outsider. A recent immigrant from China, he lives in a close-minded town with his mother and younger brother. Falling in with the wrong crowd, trying to fit in, Jason takes chances and ends up in trouble with the police. Holding on to his friendship with an Indigenous boy, also an outsider, Jason finds he needs to fight to belong and to find a new home.
Puget Sound Council for Reviewing Children's Media - December 10, 2010
"There's a lot to think about in this small book. It might even be a book read to the end by kids who don't like to read."
The Horn Book Guide - April 1, 2009
"Fast-paced, easy-to-read drama."
Library Media Connection - March 1, 2009
"Engage[s] the reader...This book will be useful in cultural diversity classes or for students who are having a hard time finding their place in school...Recommended."
Tri State Young Adult Book Review Committee - January 1, 2009
"This is a tale about the effects of prejudice and the redeeming power of friendship...A very good selection for reluctant readers in high school who need high interest books." - December 1, 2008
"[Yee's] characters and their life struggles ring true and are likely to connect well with teen readers. Written in a fast-paced, easy-to-read style, this book should be successful with reluctant readers."
by: Cynthia Cruz, Tucson Unified School District - November 1, 2008
"Highly recommended."
VOYA - October 1, 2008
"Reluctant readers will be drawn to this book because of the content and its length."
Booklist - September 1, 2008
"Yee's slim novel packs in a lot."
CM Magazine - September 1, 2008
"While maintaining young readers' interest in the plot, Yee's novel will also help them to develop and gain confidence in their reading skills."


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