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Fly Away Home Paperback – Mar 22 1993

14 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Clarion Books; Reissue edition (March 22 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0395664152
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395664155
  • Product Dimensions: 22.4 x 0.4 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 68 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #27,039 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

In this timely and touching work, Bunting and Himler present a naturalistic look at the plight of the homeless--their tale of a boy and his father living in a busy airport is all the more disturbing for its lack of a pat resolution. Ages 5-8.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 3-- "My dad and I live in an airport . . . the airport is better than the streets." As they did in The Wall (Clarion, 1990), Bunting and Himler successfully present a difficult subject in picture book format. A small child narrates the facts of his homeless existence--sleeping sitting up, washing in the restroom, and above all, avoiding being noticed. The brief text runs through all his emotions from a matter-of-fact acceptance to a fierce longing that makes him angry at those who have homes. Using subdued watercolors, Himler conveys the vast, impersonal spaces through which father and son move. He often places them at the back or edge of the pictures, underscoring their need to go unnoticed. This is a serious story but not an overpoweringly grim one. There is a reassuring togetherness between father and son and although there isn't an easy, happy ending, it does conclude on a poignant yet believable note of hope. Both illustrator and author focus on giving the child's-eye view of the problem, and their skill makes this a first-rate picture book that deserves a place in all collections. --Karen James, Louisville Free Public Library, KY
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Feb. 7 2006
Format: Paperback
Picture books are not just for 4-8 year olds. They are used in my junior (and up) classrooms all the time to introduce different ideas, empathy, and textual connections. The child's point of view in this picture book is particularly effective.
Fly Away Home is a very sensitive book but conveys a message that an encyclopedia entry or handout could not bring out. I agree with the above review that it depends on the audience but this is a real issue that is often left unaddressed because it's not a comfortable issue to discuss.
Homelessness is a real problem in every community whether you see it everyday or not. I don't think because it is is uncomfortable that it should be left "undiscussed" like the many topics we hide from children (students). I have to deal with the fact that my students deal with this issue with their families.
I think that it is an excellent springboard to discuss family and community and responsible citizenship. Most of my students brainstorm what they can do. It is my experience that students, with discretion, want to understand issues that adults do not talk about or think they shouldn't hear about. Most of my students have since participated in community activities to help the homeless in their community and this book, I believe, is an effective way of conveying the reality that other students face.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird on Jan. 9 2004
Format: Paperback
An interesting book. The plot follows a boy and his father as they make a life for themselves, living in an airport in 1991. The boy draws hope from their situation by seeing a bird escape the airport itself and take wing. The book's stark realism has many similarities to the more recent picture book, "Visiting Day", in which a little girl goes to visit her father in prison. I don't know if this specific genre of book has a name. Picture realism, perhaps. "Fly Away Home" has often been attacked as "depressing" and not appropriate for children. And admittedly, I do wonder how popular it is with the kiddies. I don't see little children fighting to be the first one to be read this one before bedtime. But this isn't to say it's a bad book. Quite the contrary. The writing and pictures are well done and the plot is informative. In my opinion, kids who've suffered homelessness themselves will connect with the narrator of the story. Those kids who haven't, may find the idea of living in an airport fun. The book really serves, however, as a way to teach our children about homelessness and how those people who suffer from it shouldn't be shunned from society itself. Should you chose to show this book to your kids, you may wish to tell them how this story could never be written today (what with our heightened airport security). A fine well-written book.
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Format: Paperback
I really like this book, even though the topic is homelessness. It certainly seems that the author really looked into the subject --her details are really interesting (for example, the child and his father wear blue because people don't notice blue and the more inconspicuous they are, the better). "Fly Away Home" creates a mood--and if you're interested in letting your children feel a tiny bit of the despair that less fortunate children feel, go for it. After all, you can hug your kids and discuss this book as you go along!
I do feel that some of the other reviewers here are unaware that there are two age categories for children's picture books--4 to 8, and 8 to 12. I would say that this book falls in the latter category. Yes, a very bright six year old could sit through the brief text and come away with the message (homelessness=scary+sad), but they probably don't have the capabilities to really use the information and feelings yet. I would say this is a book to read aloud to say, a fourth grade class, when children really need to start considering social issues and things beyond their little world.
If you're one of these people who only wants books about happy bunnies, this is NOT for you. If you feel that your children can't take the "mixed messages" given by the image of airport security being scary to this homeless child, and you just can't take the time to explain to him/her that law enforcement is not a bad thing, then don't pick this book up. If you don't want your child to feel any compassion for people because you just don't want to make him/her "sad," then for goodness sakes, skip this and every other meaningful book in the bookstore.
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By A Customer on June 29 1999
Format: Paperback
I liked the book. It was beautifully illustrated, and the story was very well written. I got the sense that the author actually went out and talked to homeless people who live in an airport or bus depot to find out what their lives are like.
The idea is to get youngsters to think about kids less fortunate than themselves, but at the same time the book isn't [too] preachy.
I'm not so certain that little kids will understand the message of the book. To think that they will, and magically turn into advocates for the homeless, as well as other aspects of the writing, smacks of political correctness (that is, taking a good idea and going way too far with it).
I got the feeling at the end of this book that the kid would not be alright. Despite the hopeful ending, his future is extremely uncertain and he could wind up very socially maladjusted.
The uncertainty and the lack of a resolution to his plight will surely upset younger readers, used to "happily ever after" type of stories.
But for older kids, this book may have serious value.
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