Thursday, 15 April 2010

My Thoughts: Flight by Sherman Alexie

Sorry for the doouble post today, I won't be around tomorrow and already know what I want to write about Saturday and Sunday.

Last year I listened to The Absolutely True Story of a Part-Time Indian and loved it, I've seen lots of people on the blogosphere reading Alexie recently which reminded me that I had meant to check out more of his stuff. So off I went to the library catelogue and managed to grab an audiobook and a collection of short stories (hopefully I'll get to read those next week).
Flight was a great audiobook, as it was only 4 hours long so could be listened to easily in the space of a week. The story of Flight is so different from anything I've read before. Zits is an orphaned part-Indian-part-Irish teenager. Since his father aandoned him at birth and his mother died of breast cancer he has been in and out of foster homes and sheltered accomodation. Having been abused, neglected and ignored he gives up on life never giving any home he is placed in a chance. An alchoholic and drug taker at just 15 years old he is in constant trouble with the police.
It is at the point of an arrest that his life changes. Meeting Justice, a fellow teen, in a police cell Zits finally feels that he has a friend and belongs somewhere. Justice, clever with words and packed full of knowledge, convinces him to hold up a bank. As Zits walks into the bank and holds up the gun he suddenly spins out of this world, he time travels through various points in the past changing his view of himself and others.
This was a great YA read, a search for identity and a home, but it is filled with bad (and I mean bad) language which makes me wonder what age it would be aimed at. In one sense I could see my 13 year olds at school reading it, but then I'm not sure how many parents would approve of the language. Saying that many of them listen to rap and watch 18 movies so maybe I'm just showing y teacherly side :)


Vivienne said...

I can only imagine that the 13 years olds of today have been exposed to so much more than we did at that age. I haven't heard of Sherman Alexie, though not sure if I would enjoy this, but great review.

Darren @ Bart's Bookshelf said...

I've heard such great things about Alexie, I really should get around to reading him!

katrina said...

You should definately read An Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian, Vivienne as a starting place.

Shelley said...

I loved "Part-time Indian" so I should read this one!

Starleigh Grass said...

Hi, in our district we use Part Time Indian at the junior level and Flight at the senior level. We use lit circles, so students don't HAVE to read Alexie, but the often choose to because he's, well, amazing. If you want a novel study for Flight I have one on my blog (box on the top right features resources).