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Customer reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
Fly Away Home
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on December 15, 2014
bought it for my reading program in grade 3
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on February 7, 2006
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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on March 31, 2003
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. Homelessness is a reality in America and this book is a good introduction to that reality for children. Most children do not even realize that this type of counterculture even exists. There is an overwhelming theme of hope, and strength. The illustrations are done in mute watercolor and occur on every page.
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on January 9, 2004
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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on November 27, 1999
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. I have always told my children about children who are less fortunate than them. I want them to see reality. This was the perfect book to show that. It was hard for me to read (had to hold back the tears) but I welcomed questions after we finished. They need to be aware such things do happen in our society.
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on September 18, 2002
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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on July 28, 2000
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. The illustrations add to the beauty of the writing. Although it is written for a younger audience, it can be read to a group of older students with the same effects. While I don't think that this book will make activists out of children, it will raise awareness of peers who may be in similar situations (especially among urban/rural populations). This is a great addtion to Bunting's wonderful repretoire of stories.
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on November 12, 2001
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. Andrew and his dad try not to get noticed so they won't be kicked out. Andrew finds a bird who is trapped in the airport but finally flies away. Andrew and the bird are similar because they both want to be free. We enjoyed this book because we want Andrew to be free. The book is sad, but Andrew is saving his money to help is father find a job and an apartment. The is a great book to read!
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on December 10, 1999
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 streets. I think it's a great book because the boy and his father do not have to live on the streets. I don't like the book because the boy and his father live in an airport. If you know anybody that is homeless or was homeless, they would understand the book. To find out if the little boy and his father find a home, read the book Fly Away Home by Eve Bunting.
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on August 20, 1997
The basic humanity of the little boy and his father shines through this tale, as does the warmth of others who help them survive. What would it take to live like this, in a busy 24-hour facility which has security guards? This book would be a real revelation for children who think that all homeless people live on the street, and that none of them have jobs
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