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The Saturday Boy

4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  420 ratings  ·  117 reviews
If I've learned anything from comic books, it's that everybody has one thing that can totally ruin their day without fail. For the wolfman it's a silver bullet. For Superman it's kryptonite. For me it was a letter.

With one letter, my dad was sent back to Afghanistan to fly Apache helicopters for the U.S. army.

Now all I have are his letters. Ninety-one of them to be exact
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published June 13th 2013 by Viking Books for Young Readers
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,074)
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Alex Baugh
Eleven year old Derek Lamb's father has been flying Apache helicopters in Afghanistan for most of Derek's life and just when it looked like he was finished, he was called back into service there. Now, Derek is having a hard time in school, at home, and with his former best friend, Budgie.

To comfort himself, Derek reads and rereads the letters his dad has sent him over the course of Derek's young life - all 91 of them kept in his dad's old plastic Knight Rider lunch box. Derek has read the letter
Received from Goodreads first reads giveaway

I would give this book 4.5 stars if I could. This book is told by 11 year old Derek. Derek lives with his Mother while his father is in Afghanistan. His father has been in Afghanistan off and on for most of Derek's life. Derek misses his father and they write back and forth - 91 letters are exchanged. Derek struggles at school with his peers and often gets into trouble as a result of his inability to deal with his emotions and frequent taunts from his
Susan P
I loved this book! Can't believe it's a first novel. Wow.

11-year-old Derek's dad has been off fighting in Afghanistan for most of Derek's life. His misses his dad a lot - the two write letters back and forth regularly. Derek's aren't always 100% truthful about how things are going at school however. In reality he has some behavior issues, and keeps on getting in trouble for losing his temper. And his former best friend has turned on him and now leads the class in picking on Derek. Derek struggl
It was the best book ever!!
This is terrifically moving, well-written story about 11-year-old Derek. He's a young 11, still playing with action figures which sets him apart from his peers. Derek's father is serving yet another tour as a helicopter pilot in Afghanistan and Derek misses him terribly. He has kept all the letters his father has sent and rereads them often. At school he struggles with a Draconian teacher, attentional and behavior issues, and the bullying of his former best friend, Budgie. His relationship with ...more
Augusta Scattergood
Loved the story, the writing, the characters.

A perfect, funny, touching story for boys. And we all know there just aren't enough of those.
THE SATURDAY BOY has the whiz bam and superheros to keep them reading until they get hooked on the story. By the time they get to the parts that left me reading tearfully, they won't want to put the book down. But girls will also love this book. I predict they will nod in recognition about the idiotic things boys in Middle School dare to do.

For my complete re
Nathalie R
The Saturday Boy
A David Fleming book called The Saturday Boy is about a kid named Derek. His dad is stationed over in Afghanistan while Derek has to deal with his so-called friend, Bugie. When Derek is having a hard time he goes and reads his comics that he once read when he was younger with his dad. His comic books never failed to cheer him up. They brought joy to him every time he read them. Not only does he read comic books but he reads his dad’s letters over and over again. He even remembers
Derek Lamb lives inside his head a lot of the time. He daydreams about being with his Dad on assignment in Afghanistan and flying his Apache helicopter. He is lost in thought so often that he does things like forget what day it is and goes to the bus stop on a Saturday. He often misses what's going on in class and suffers the consequences of that. Most of the kids in class think he's "weird", even his former best friend Budgie, who is now his number one tormentor. And Derek's instinct to find ju ...more
Kids will totally relate to the main character's struggles with his best friend/archenemy. Appreciated the completely original plot and unpredictability. The voice of the main character is the best. His descriptions are spot on for the age group and I would like to say it would be a great read-aloud, but not for me...I cried like a baby.
Liz Fothergill
I adored this book, and the main character Derek Lamb. Contrary to what some other reviewers have said, I do think 11-12 year olds will relate to this story and the things Derek goes through. When do we stop believing in Santa, playing with toys, watching cartoons? Derek's character is well developed and David Fleming writes artfully in the first person creating a totally believable and lovable eleven year old. Mom, Aunt Josie, and Derek's "archenemy" Budgie are a great supporting cast. The char ...more
Full disclosure-my husband was deployed for 15 months to Iraq leaving me with our two sons who were then 6 and 10. This had a profound effect on my kids, on our whole family, and I would love to read a book that captures that essence.
So when I first heard of The Saturday Boy, I was intrigued and obviously brought a TON of baggage to the reading of it. However, when I found out that the father dies in the war, I didn't want to read it, I simply did not want to "go there".

Long story short, I did
I chose this book for book club for this month. I thought it was current, about the war, involves a sense of coming if age, what could go wrong? Well, I think it works perfectly for middle school readers, and I'm thinking the kids who read it probably liked it, for the most part. There were some elements that were a little off the beaten path, and I found myself trying to diagnose the main character Derek, but I think I just accepted him as he is and went with it. The whole story about Derek's d ...more
This is a beautiful amazing book. Timely subject matter, very well written and balanced storytelling. Boy's father is in Afghanistan, they write often, he's having problems with changing friendships at school.

The kids I work with are pretty sensitive to 'inappropriate' things, and there's just a couple passages with language they would freak out about. They are a pretty naive bunch, and in many other places this would be more realistic to how kids talk to each other in 5th grade. My population
Great story about an eleven year old boy named Derek who has a very special relationship with his father. Even though Derek's dad is serving in Afghanistan they stay close through letter writing and daydreaming, but Derek still finds himself waiting for the letter of his dreams...the letter saying his dad is coming home.
Paula Stock
This is a very realistic story of Derek, whose dad is in Afghanistan. It made me laugh and cry, and it helped me to understand the feeling of a boy trapped between youth and growing up. Definitely a good book for middle school readers.
Casey O
The Saturday Boy by David Fleming is a book about a kid in grade five named Derek who's dad gets sent out to war. When his dad dies it becomes on the news, and his friends at school and teachers start treating him different. Derek is getting angry at all the kids at school and it doesn't appear to be stopping.
I enjoyed this book because it had two problems his missing dad and his problems at school. When his dad gets killed it effects how Derek acts at school. Derek's so called best friend Budgi
In some ways Derek is less mature than the other fifth graders in his class. He is still fascinated by superheroes and imaginative play and his poor impulse control lands him in one scrape after another, especially when he's goaded into retaliating against his one-time best friend turned nemesis. But Derek has a tender heart and a true sense of right and wrong. He longs for his father who's an Apache helicopter pilot serving in Afghanistan. He has a loving relationship with his mom and his Aunt ...more
Lucas Barton
The book The Saturday Boy is a book about a young boy who has a dad that is in the military. This book talks about the boys life and all the teasing and bullying he gets. The boy overcomes many problems and eventually a family death.
This book was great and I will read it again. I would recommend this to anyone because there is no negative part of it.
Mrs. Strudthoff
Derek longs for his dad to return from the war. To make him feel closer to his dad, Derek keeps a model of an Apache helicopter above his bed, and dreams of when he and his dad can fly the Apaches together.

Not only does Derek miss his father, he also misses his best friend Budgie. Budgie isn't gone, but Budgie isn't the same kid that created fantasy worlds with Derek. Budgie hangs with the bullies in school, the ones who make Derek's life miserable.

Derek finds some creative ways to get back at B
Fleming gets the dynamic of boys trying hard, being misunderstood and trying to figure out their changing world, as well as the often fruitless efforts of the adults who care about them.
Frida S
This book is about a boy named Derek and events about his life. Derek lives with just his mom because his dad is an army pilot and he’s currently in service. Derek misses his dad, but they write often to each other so it’s not as bad. Derek has lately been having troubles with his friend Budgie because he hasn’t been that nice to him lately. One day when Derek comes home from school, he is greeted by his aunt which is strange because she doesn’t usually visit. HIs aunt tells him that his mother ...more
Carol Royce Owen
I've had this book in my TBR pile for many months now, but picked it up this week when I saw it on the new Vermont Dorothy Canfield Fisher list for 2014-2015. I've heard good things about the book, and was not disappointed. I read it in under a day.

Derek is an incredibly imaginative fifth grader, but rather immature. His favorite past times are reading comic books, making up super heroes with various, but interesting names and powers (e.g., Richter who can cause earthquakes), watching action he
This book has only three words to describe itself. FAIRNESS IS EVERYTHING. in this book, you will learn everything about fairness and how it affects people. People like Derek have been affected by their own personal family life and how much you try to turn their attention away from that devastation, they will still dream and think about it. I think that Derek has unimaginable kindness and even though he have a big loss in his family, he will still tries his best in school and doesn't let the bul ...more
Rarely does a book for children move me to tears. This one did. The author told it like it was and, while written for children it spoke to adults as well. The price of war, the awkward stage of transitioning from elementary school to junior high, friendships growing apart - all of it told so poignantly and beautifully that you almost don't want the book to end. You want to keep finding out what is happening and will happen in Derek's life.
Sep 09, 2014 Jeremy added it
His dad is gone in the military in Afghanistan .this book is a great book, so far I have only read about 62 pages of it.the book is told from Derek 's point of view .the book in the beginning is about Derek in 5th grade elementary school and one day he woke up in the moring getting ready for school and he didn't know it was Saturday he thought it was Friday and he went out to the bus stop and it was raining he thought the bus was coming but it wasn't at all.then later on budgies mom stopped buy ...more
Julia Wilson
For 11-year-old Derek, school is a challenge. His best friend has turned into a bully and some days it's all he can do to keep out of trouble. His dad is back in Afghanistan flying apache helicopters and his mom is working hard as a nurse. This mid-grade novel is tender and funny as Derek learns that sometimes life can be awful but you can find a way to get through it.
Rarely do books make me cry, but this one did multiple times. The story of a boy who is bullied, who is missing his father who is in Afghanistan, and who just wants to be understood. Derek will pull at your heartstrings and make you really sympathize will all children who suffer from bullies just for being a little different.
Khai-ly T.
Drama, heartbreak and mystery , these are all the words to describe The Saturday Boy. I would recommend this book. The main character is a boy named Derek. Derek has a father in the U.S army. When Derek’s father is sent back to Afghanistan, Derek starts to read all of his father’s letters that his father sends to him over time. To keep himself stable and emotionally steady, Derek read those letters over again to himself. All Derek really wants to hear is that his father is coming home. Although ...more
Constance Pappas
"Would you like to know what true bravery is? True bravery is all about conquering fear; so in order to be brave you have to be afraid first."

What a great read! The kid, Derek, reminds me of Jack Gantos' Joey Pigza because his energy is unending. Derek makes some unfortunate choices. He's a great kid and he's struggling with understanding how the world works. Why is his best friend suddenly more of a nemesis than a friend. A fast read with lots of great dialog and good characters. Also there is
Wow! This was a special book. I laughed, I cried, I loved the characters and storyline. I think the dialogue was perfect and I'm very curious if my middle school boys and girls will like it as much as I did.
It is his first novel-amazing.
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