Title: Man From the SkyMan-from-the-Sky
Author: Avi
Pages: 120
Reading Level: 8-12
Star Rating: ★★★

AVI! (:

The Story.

A man has planned to steal a fortune. It will be simple but difficult. He will board the plane which is carrying the money. He will be the only passenger. Halfway through the flight he will parachute out of the plane with the unguarded money. If no one is in the deserted field he has chosen to land in, the whole operation should be a cinch…

—–

Jamie never could read very well. But he loves looking at the sky! He loves gazing up and seeing the pictures they portray, then running home and telling his grandmother about them. But he wishes that Gillian, his pesky neighbor, would stop spying on him. She’s destroying his enjoyment of… Hello! Is that a man floating down through the sky? And is that a bag that just dropped from his hands?

When Gillian is kidnapped by this man from the sky, it is up to Jamie to relay the news back to their families. But will anyone believe him, or will they think he is making up another story? Will Gillian and the money be recovered?

Discussion.

Jamie has learning disabilities. He has difficulty in learning how to read and instead prefers to spend all of his time staring up at the sky, watching pictures form in the clouds. He then comes home and tells his grandmother what he has seen, pretending it is true although they both know he’s making up stories.

Jamie is ashamed of his disability and has a hard time forming friendships with people because he is wary of criticism. In one scene, a boy teases him about staring at the sky. The boy isn’t being mean so much as highly insensitive. His words cause Jamie pain.

Later, a young girl thinks that Jamie isn’t really “weird, standing there, staring at nothing, like some sort of retard” like her brother said. She then goes on to try to make friends with Jamie. They argue a little and then become friends.

When Gillian is kidnapped by the man from the sky, Jamie rushes home and tells his grandparents the whole story. At first they don’t believe him – after all, he’s been telling bizarre stories every day – but after he gets frustrated and yells at them they start to believe him.

After Gillian goes missing, Gillian’s mother whispers “Oh my God.” It is appropriately used. It is said that the bad guys swears out loud on three occasions, but no actual words are recorded.

Conclusion. Not the best of Avi’s works by far, but still a good one. Although the reading level is easy enough for eight year olds, I would recommend that you read through this book and choose your own preferred age.

Review © 2013 Laura Verret

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