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Fly Away Home Paperback – Mar 22 1993

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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 0.3 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: #20,556 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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Most helpful customer reviews

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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 4 1999
Format: Paperback
I was so shocked by the content of this book and that it was available to Kindergarten age children, by the end I was actually laughing because I could not believe it to be real. As I read this library book to my children (three boys ages 3, 5, and 6), my five year old asked in tears, "Why do some mommies die before boys go to school?" My six year old wondered why if police were our friends, why was the boy in the story afraid of them and trying to hide from them in disguises. Daily donuts for a meal, a dead mom, a loser of a dad who abandons his 6-year old son daily at an airport to be left with virtual strangers, disguises from security, hygiene in a public bathroom, and a little boy who responds with physical violence at the happiness of others. Oh, boy, let's all line up for lessons in value from Eve Bunting. Sure, a parent can reason to the conclusion she was leading us toward, that there is hope for everyone, and sure it may have some redeeming value, but, please, it is way too deep for young children who may only find confusion and disturbing conclusions from such a book. I understand the topic is real and I know the underlying issues are all very real and I do recognize the necessity to make our children aware of the world around them. Some children may have it within them to find the message of hope here, but I feel it is not worth the risk of filling their hearts and minds with what I found to be disturbing images. I have three very intelligent children who needed some comforting explanations to get past this premise. If you find it necessary to teach your children about the less fortunate, please find a less threatening manner in which to do so.
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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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