Sunday, February 23, 2014

Flying Solo by Ralph Fletcher

Here is a book that I resisted for so many years. I use Ralph Fletcher's Writer's Notebook with my class while starting my Writing Workshop each year and I think that his tips for beginning writers are all amazing. I just wasn't sure that Flying Solo was age-appropriate for my fourth graders. Of course, I hadn't read it before this recent winter vacation, so I guess I was guilty of judging a book by its cover. Doh.

So, Flying Solo is unique because it offers each character an opportunity to share his or her insights. The tale begins with the reader learning that one of the students in the class had died a few months earlier, and the classmates never really dealt with the death. We learn about each character as they ready themselves for a typical Friday at school in Mr. Fabiano's class. Once the class arrives at school, they quickly realize that Mr. Fabiano is not present, and the school has forgotten to find a substitute teacher for the class. Naturally, the students decide to run the class themselves, without an adult. And what happens? You'll have to read to find out! (FYI: I cried. It was oh so sad. Case of the sadsies kinda sad.)

Another thing to mention is that this book is told chapter by chapter, with dates and times. The majority of the book occurs in one day, which is pretty neat-o.


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