Sarah Brutsch's Reviews > Whirligig

Whirligig by Paul Fleischman
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Dec 05, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: engl-420
Read in December, 2011

This book was unlike anything I expected it to be. The title seemed promising, but the cover put me off... the way the book was printed reminded me of the books my mom checked out for me from the library when I was more interested in reading about dinosaurs. But this goes to show you can't judge a book by the cover. I was surprised at how quickly the book delved into the life of Brent, the new kid in town who tries to join the cool crowd by attending a party he wasn't invited to. Things don't go his way, and he winds up leaving early, angry and drunk. But one fatal decision sends him on a cross-country journey to repair the damage he has done, both to the world and to himself. It's a soul-searching expedition with important stops on the way, and I felt that this book has more value to it than any I have read recently. What a remarkable story. I would recommend this book to anyone, but particularly troubled students who might also have some healing to do. I'd probably target a middle school audience because while the writing is beautiful and the lessons important, I felt like the novel wasn't as challenging as it could've been (less than 150 pages). Still, it's remarkable. It really takes you on a journey.
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