Fly Away Home Paperback – Aug 1 2003
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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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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.
Most recent customer reviews
This book carries a very powerful message about homelessness. The bird found in the airport, wanting to be free, is a wonderful use of symbolism. Read morePublished on March 31 2003
Picture book supposedly for 4-8 year-olds. Personally I feel this content is a bit much for 4 year-olds. Read morePublished on Nov. 23 2001 by ChristineMM
The book Fly Away Home by Eve Bunting is about a boy, Andrew, and his father living in an airport. Andrew's mother has passed away and they must live in the airport. Read morePublished on Nov. 12 2001 by (...) Class
This is one of my all-time favorite children's books. Eve Bunting does an excellent job of narrating a difficult subject through the voice of a child. Read morePublished on July 28 2000
The book, Fly Away home is a good book. In the book, Fly Away Home, a little boy and his father live in a airport and sleep sitting up so they won't have to to sleep on the... Read morePublished on Dec 10 1999 by Mandy
My 5yr. old and I read this book together. My husband is a pilot for a major airline and we fly quite often with our children. Read morePublished on Nov. 27 1999 by Noorin
My name is Sydney and I am seven. I think that the story was a little disturbing and a little good. I like the ending because he talks about the bird. Read morePublished on April 12 1999
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