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Stealing Air

3.91  ·  Rating Details  ·  187 Ratings  ·  52 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,
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published October 1st 2012 by Arthur A. Levine Books
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2015 Iowa Children's Choice Nominees
28th out of 78 books — 12 voters
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125th out of 136 books — 23 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 453)
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Mar 22, 2013 Ellen rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 25, 2014 J.A. Dalley rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
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.
Oct 09, 2014 Tima rated it liked it
Three young boys with stolen airplane material can only lead to disaster. Brian is getting ready to attend a new school because of his dad’s new job. He enjoys skateboarding, flying airplanes and hanging out with his friends. But his dad sold their Cessna to pay for the new business and Brian needs to make new friends. His first day of meeting people doesn’t exactly end well. He makes an enemy of the local bully, gets befriended by a social outcast, and must begin keeping secrets from his family ...more
Oct 12, 2012 Christy rated it liked it
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.
May 16, 2013 Lauren rated it it was amazing
Read this with my 6th and 7th grade classes. They LOVED it. Perfect for middle school boys and girls.
Andrew Chang
Jan 14, 2015 Andrew Chang rated it it was amazing
I think this is a very interesting book, I reread it 2 times.
C.C. Thomas
Feb 26, 2014 C.C. Thomas rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
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
Ms. Yingling
Jun 09, 2012 Ms. Yingling rated it liked it
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
Aug 13, 2013 Angie rated it really liked it
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
Jan 07, 2013 Alan rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
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
Sep 23, 2012 Barbara rated it really liked it
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
May 06, 2013 Eshan Patel rated it really liked it
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
Erin Forson
Aug 28, 2012 Erin Forson rated it liked it
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
Aug 06, 2012 Laura rated it liked it
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
Hunter Alexander
Nov 12, 2014 Hunter Alexander rated it it was amazing
WOW! Coolest book ever! Even though I thought it was a stereotypical story, Trent Reedy did a splendid job of putting a twist in the story. The twist is that Brian, the main character, meets Max and Alex and they work on a super cool project. At the same time Brian faces problems typical new kids face, he is new from Seattle. He has to put up with bullying as well as how to handle a crush. I would highly recommend this book to anyone seeking a book about playing it cool and perseverance.
Erin Moulton
Oct 27, 2012 Erin Moulton rated it it was amazing
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
Christian Giardina
Feb 11, 2015 Christian Giardina rated it it was amazing
This month I read "Stealing Air" by Trent Reedy. It is a thriller full of suspence. Brian and his family move to Iowa beacause of buisness. He meets two other kids (Alex and Max) who are woking on a flyer made of plasticsteel that is stronger than regular steel. They hope to show the public to help his family after his dad invested everything into plasticsteel. I rated this book five stars because of all the suspence and wondering what coould happen next.
Aug 20, 2015 Shawna rated it really liked it
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
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
Ethan Mayer
Dec 04, 2015 Ethan Mayer rated it liked it
This book is about three kids who want to build a airplane. But what happens when one of the kids is stealing from another kids father's business?

This book is okay. It is not very exciting. There are irrelevant parts in it. But other than that, I enjoyed this book.
Jim Moore
Feb 01, 2014 Jim Moore rated it really liked it
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
Feb 22, 2015 Isaac added it
I love air.I think all the ideas that those boy's had were fantastic it was a great book. I liked it when the poop bomb explodes and they get their revenge.
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
Kris Dinnison
Nov 21, 2015 Kris Dinnison rated it it was amazing
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
Brenda Kahn
Fun story about moving house, new friendship, dealing with bullies and flying.
Feb 03, 2014 Chandra rated it really liked it
Shelves: parker
This book was a fun one to read! Parker loved hearing about the plane!
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!
Apr 03, 2013 Stephanie rated it really liked it
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.
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