Stealing Air
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Stealing Air

3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  134 ratings  ·  42 reviews
You can't just ask for the chance to fly . . .

When his dad announced they were moving to Iowa, Brian looked forward to making some new friends. But on his first day there he makes an enemy instead -- Frankie Heller, the meanest kid in town. Brian needs to hang out with someone cool to get back on track. . . .

Alex has always been the coolest guy around, and good with money,...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published October 1st 2012 by Arthur A. Levine Books
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Community Reviews

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From the very beginning, Stealing Air had me. My inner geek loved Max's enterprising scientific inquiry and ate up every little Star Trek reference as a fellow fan in this sleepy little Iowa town whose claim to fame was that it is the future birthplace of Captain James T. Kirk. All the characters are easily to relate to and a whole lot of fun. Brian, Alex, and Max are all navigating the time of innocence that is 6th grade complete with 6th grade problems: making friends in a new town, deciding w...more
J.A. Dalley
This is just a really fun light book about a couple of kids who are anxious to do something amazing!

I enjoyed getting to know the characters and seeing them go through all their troubles.

The whole time I was reading this book all I could think about was just how much this story reminded me of my own daydreams when I was the age of the characters in this story. That's probably why I enjoyed this book so much too.
Arthur A. Levine Books
266 pages

This book is for an elementary student to read possibly middle school. I like the story because the "nerd" overcomes the "bully" and kids helping adults. A boy who recently moved into a school district becomes friends with two unlikely locals. Together, they set a goal and work diligently to meet the goal. Good story.
Read this with my 6th and 7th grade classes. They LOVED it. Perfect for middle school boys and girls.
Andrew Chang
I think this is a very interesting book, I reread it 2 times.
C.C. Thomas
It is a story of dreams and bullies and science. Brian and his family have a lot of adjusting to do. They've just moved to Iowa, and Brian's father is desperately trying to refine his invention before the whole family falls apart. Add a bully and a nerd to the mix and you have the makings of a fairly interesting plot. Brian has some of his father's inventive spirit and, before too long, he's teamed up with the science nerd on a plan that might save his father's business and his family.

It was an...more
Ms. Yingling
Brian is not happy about leaving Seattle and all of his friends just because his father is trying to get a new material named Plastisteel off the ground. Because money is tight, the family has to move in with the grandfather. Brian runs afoul of school bully Frankie on his first day, putting him to shame with his skateboarding moves, and escapes being beaten up only with the help of Max and his rocket powered bike! Max's mother is working on Plastisteel as well, and Max has stolen a piece in ord...more
Brian and his family have just moved from Seattle to Riverside, Iowa (future home of Captain James T. Kirk). His father has started a new company that will manufacture plastisteel, a new super-strong plastic. On his first day, Brian joins the kids at the local skate park and quickly grabs the attention of bully Frankie and hottie Wendy, Frankie's sister. He is rescued by nerdy Max, who also happens to be the son of his dad's partner. Max has secretly been building an airplane out of plastisteel,...more
When Brian moves to Riverside, Iowa, the future home of Star Trek’s Captain Kirk, he practices his advanced skateboarding tricks at the town park. He becomes the target of the town bully, Frankie. He makes friends with the town nerd, and his dad’s business partner’s son, Max and the town’s cool kid, Alex. Brian also has his eye on Wendy, a cute girl who is also Frankie’s sister.

Max has secretly built an airplane out of plastisteel, a new strong type of plastic. With Brian and Alex’s help, the t...more
ATOS Book Level: 4.2
Interest Level: Middle Grades (MG 4-8)
AR Points: 9.0
Lexile: 650
Word Count: 60191

I think this book will appeal to all boys because of the rockets and the homemade airplane, but especially boys who are skateboarders. In this story Brian is the new kid in town, just about to start 6th grade, he skateboards to the town skate park hoping to meet some kids his age, maybe make some friends before school starts. This is where he meets Frankie,the local bully, Wendy,a possible girl in...more
Sixth grader Brian Davis is not thrilled with his family's recent move from Seattle to Riverside, Iowa. But the move offers a chance for a fresh start, and Brian, who is quite adept with his skateboard, tries to get off on the right foot with the popular crowd. In order to do so, though, he must ignore the offers of friendship from geeky Max Warrender who spouts off scientic jargon and Star Trek references, to the amusement of his classmates. Brian actually has quite a lot in common with Max sin...more
Eshan Patel
Who has ever wanted to fly an airplane? The reason I picked out this book is because the cover and the picture caught my eye. When I was little I always wanted to control and sit in air planes. This is what this book is all about.

The main character Brian had lived in a nice neighborhood where school came first and skating came second. He loved skating and the best thing he loved about it was getting big air.

Later in the book Brian's dad finds a job in the Midwest and Brian has to tag along with...more
Erin Forson
When sixth grade skater, Brian, moves to a small town in Iowa from big-city Seattle, he sees it as an opportunity to “start fresh.” However, it doesn’t take long for Brian to land on the radar of the class bully, Frank, and to fall for Frank’s sister, Wendy. It seems like things couldn’t get any worse—that is until Brian’s parents can’t find an investor for their company invention, Plastisteel. Now Brian has bigger problems to face. If Brian can’t help the company find an investor fast, Brian’s...more
Reading this I thought of many of Gary B. Schmidt's books, which I have a difficult time selling to MG readers but are loved by adults. The themes of bullying and owning your geekiness are not presented in a way that will really appeal to the target readers, although the skateboarding and the experimental airplane might (the rocket bicycle? definitely cool!).

Brian's move from Seattle to Iowa isn't starting well - his skateboarding skills are impressive, but he's run afoul of Frankie, the class b...more
Erin Moulton
When Brian is moved to Riverside, Iowa, he has a lot to get accustomed to. First off, there’s the school yard bully, Frankie, who has it out for him the moment he gets to town. Secondly, his parents are always fighting over the reason they’re all here: so his father can invest all his time (and money) in Synthtech, a company that manufactures an experimental metal called plastisteel. One thing that Brian feels at home with is skateboarding, so he spends some time at the skate park. One day, he g...more
Brian's father always says "Great success takes great risk." But when he moves them from Seattle to Riverside, IA for a new business venture, Brian isn't exactly thrilled. To make matters worse (and better), Brian runs into Frankie, the town bully, and his beautiful sister Wendy at the skate park. When Brian shows up an enraged Frankie with his skateboard, Brian takes off and only manages to escape being pummeled when Max and his rocket-powered bike give him "a ride" to get away. Some of the "sk...more
Jim Moore
Surprised to find I liked a book written for early teens. Good adventure and social situations. Clever technology discussions. Great book for all. Not every teen situation revolves around drugs or violence. Glad author put a real life spin on this story.
Liza Wiemer
Oct 13, 2012 Liza Wiemer added it
Shelves: arc, bea
I'm going to start this review by saying that I rarely read MG novels. But I enjoyed this one. I thought STEALING AIR was spot on perfect for MG boys, especially those who are creative, inventive, and love anything mechanical. The setting of a small town in Iowa was perfect for Max, Brian, and Alex, three boys who put together an airplane with a new type of material Brian's father has helped to create. There's a budding romance, bullying, skateboarding tricks, and an awesome grandpa. Trent Reedy...more
Jan 31, 2013 Shawna marked it as to-read
Shelves: logan
My 8 1/2 yr old son (3rd grade) just finished reading this book. He loved it! He bought it with his Christmas money, and chose to read it for his January book report. I believe this was the lengthiest book he has read to date, and he couldn't put it down! He asked about some references to the Beatles and Star Trek, saying, "Mom! Don't the Beatles sing this song?!?", or, "Mom! We just saw Star Trek, and those WERE the numbers on the Enterprise, weren't they?!?" He loved every minute he spent read...more
Mel Raschke
It is just a fun story about three adventuresome and creative sixth grade boys: Brian, a somewhat introverted boy who is trying to use a move to a new town to become more outgoing; Max, a totally not-cool nerd, who is nonetheless worth befriending and incredibly brilliant; and Alex, who always checks the chill factor (will this make me look cool?) before doing anything.

This is a pretty accurate picture of the insecure, growing, reckless, unsure, and fun kids that I work with every day.

The chara...more
Kris Dinnison
Sixth-grader Brian and his family move to a new town so his dad can make his new company successful. Right out of the gate he tangles with the town bully, and falls for the bully's sister. He also makes a couple of good friends who have a secret: an airplane they've designed and built themselves. Meanwhile his dad's company is struggling and soon it becomes clear that the airplane could be the key to saving the day. I really enjoyed this fun, idyllic novel of boy adventure, friendship, and ingen...more
This book was a fun one to read! Parker loved hearing about the plane!
Draco Malfoy
This book was awesome! Max is, to put it plainly, an intellectual obsessed with flight but one who has a phobia of flight. I found that both humourous and a little odd. Alex is the "dude". He's the one who the girls love, who every boy wants to be. And Brain? Well, Brian's the new kid. The one who tries to assimilate with the "crowd" but often gets bullied, which in this case, is Frankie. I found it a little disturbing though that they dumped "business" on Frankie's head. But otherwise, fine!
I like to mix in harder chapter books for bedtime with my 2nd grade son. I've had a hard time finding good books that we can read together and both enjoy. I can only handle so much Goosebumps & Captain Underpants. Stealing Air was a great story about friendship, determination, and how to treat others. The best part is that the smart kids were the heroes. It's more targeted for a little older independent reader (3-6th grade), but it was perfect for reading together with my 2nd grader.
Fun story for upper elementary and middle grade students. The audio version was great!
Angela Hanson
Stealing Air was so much fun! I dare anyone to read it and not feel transported back to their youth. The family struggles and friendship issues have a truth to them that makes the characters in this book extremely relatable. I was an ear to ear grin turning the final page. I feel that this is the kind of book that will get the young male "I don't want to" readers change their tune. 5 stars!!!!! Loved it!!!!!
Charlou Lunsford
The new boy, Brain, in Riverside, Iowa, gets on the wrong side of the skateboard king and feels his wrath. He does make friends with the nerdy boy and the coolest guy and they build an airplane together. (Some of you will get the Riverside, Iowa and, yes, it does come up.) It's really an OK read.
Fantastic book for boys who are considered "uncool". Brian, an excellent skateboarder, moves to a new town. On his first day, he makes an enemy. A book about keeping secrets, making friends, and overcoming bullies, this is a true boy book. There is a tiny bit of romance, too.
I couldn't help comparing this story to the movie October Sky, only with a homemade airplane instead of homemade rockets. Really well written with a colorfully designed and eye-catching cover.

Great Books
Brian moves to Iowa where he meets Max and Alex. Together the three boys use their talents to build an experimental airplane while also learning about friendship, bullying and making the right decisions. Brian also experiences first love with beautiful Wendy. Reviewer 21
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