Sunday, May 30, 2010

Flying Solo by Ralph Fletcher

I have to start off by saying I LOVE Ralph Fletcher. I love his professional books, I love his picture books, I love his poetry books, and now I can add his novel Flying Solo to the list. The man is brilliant!

This is a pretty simple book- with a great concept. How many kids have ever imagined having a day where the teacher doesn't show up, and no supply teacher either. Fletcher describes a day such as this for one grade six class. The kids are left on their own to manage through the day.
The characters in this story are so real- I could easily see many of my students in these characters. I loved the story they told, the story of struggling to come together as a class to make it through one whole day without an adult telling them what to do. Throughout this day, we glimpse some very interesting characters. Rachel, a girl who stopped speaking six months earlier when a classmate passed away. Bastian, an 'army brat' who is celebrating his last day at this school and is gearing up to move away to Hawaii. Bastian is a tough kid who makes it through all of his moves by being the wise guy in class. Yet he is struggling with the fact that his puppy must be quarantined for a few months. Then there are the rest of the grade six students who range from typical girls who follow the rules, to boys who don't and those that fall somewhere in between.
I love how real this classroom was. I imagine Mr. Fabiano as the type of teacher who I would really like- reading and writing workshops are a given within his day. This is obvious when the students choose to write their thoughts, feelings and ideas as their 'free' day rolls by.
I only wish that my class would act like this if I was away for the day!

1 comment:

  1. wow! imagine. my kids would love this idea . . . but what would they do with their day? hmmmm. well, they surprise me every day so perhaps they'd be as unlikely as this class sounds and find a way! cool book. steven