HNS Book Review: ‘Flying Lessons and Other Stories’ by Ellen Oh



Title: Flying Lessons and Other Stories 
Author: Ellen Oh
Genre: Middle Grade, Short stories
Pages: 240
Year:  2017
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers
Source: Netgalley
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Whether it is basketball dreams, family fiascos, first crushes, or new neighborhoods, this bold anthology—written by the best children’s authors—celebrates the uniqueness and universality in all of us.

In a partnership with We Need Diverse Books, industry giants Kwame Alexander, Soman Chainani, Matt de la Peña, Tim Federle, Grace Lin, Meg Medina, Walter Dean Myers, Tim Tingle, and Jacqueline Woodson join newcomer Kelly J. Baptist in a story collection that is as humorous as it is heartfelt. This impressive group of authors has earned among them every major award in children’s publishing and popularity as New York Times bestsellers.

From these distinguished authors come ten distinct and vibrant stories.

Reviewer’s Thoughts:

Flying Lessons and Other Stories is a solid anthology. I love the recurring theme of the short stories which is the lessons you can glean after reading each one. All of the stories feature those kids who are usually unseen. The underprivileged, the weird, the outcast, the brown and black kids. It’s a necessary mirror for all ages, particularly for middle grade readers. I can’t recommend it enough.

Since this is a collection of short stories, I’ll rate separately the parts that left a mark on me:

The Difficult by Grace Lin — 5 stars
This was so short! This is so beautiful I had to wipe away the mist in my eyes. A tale about rising above, compassion. Young readers would love Lingsi and her journey. 

Sol Painting Inc. by Meg Medina — 4 stars
A spectacular, needed story about visibility and racism. I love the family aspects, it’s heartwarming. I wish there was more.

The Beans and Rice Chronicles of Isaiah Dunn by Kelly J. Baptist — 4 stars 
A touching story about a a kid named Isaiah who is coping with the death of his father. It also tackles poverty and hope. 

Main Street by Jacqueline Woodson — 5 stars
The people who don’t want breaks sometimes get them.
This is a lyrical, heartfelt story about grief. I love it so much. A must read. 

Sometimes a Dream Needs a Push by Walter Dean Myers — 4 stars 
Another heartwarming necessary read about a disabled main protagonist playing basketball.

About the Author

7dVr3HIhSue discovered the magical world filled with words at a young age. They have been her constant companion ever since. In addition to being a full time bookworm, and a dessert enthusiastic, she also runs the first fansite for Vampire Academy’s Lucy Fry called Lucy Fry Source. When she’s not tucked between the pages of her books, you can find her at her personal blog. You can also follow Sue on instagram and goodreads.