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BOOK REVIEWS, Contemporary Realistic Fiction, MAUD HART LOVELACE NOMINEE, Middle Grade Readers

GETTING AIR by Dan Gutman…a LOVELACE nominee

I had high expectations for this book since it is written by one of my favorite children’s authors, Dan Gutman.  Unfortunately this particular book did not live up to the quality to which I have become accustomed in Mr. Gutman’s work.

It is a run-of-the-mill survival story.  Four kids are traveling cross country on a plane, heading for the X games in California.  Avid skateboarders, they are hoping to find a company to sponsor them.  Their plane is highjacked by terrorists a la 9/11.  The kids overpower the highjackers and manage to survive the ensuing plane crash, along with a flight attendant and an eighty-year-old British woman.

From there, they find food and water, make a shelter, figure out how to build a fire and hope to be rescued.  There are Gutman’s familiar moments of humor sprinkled throughout, although they lack the cleverness and edginess of his other work.  The survivors are rescued, treated as heroes and become rich and famous.

It is an easy read and well-paced; I read it in two sittings.  It is an okay story, but uninspiring and disappointing if you are a fan of Dan Gutman’s books.


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