November 24, 2007

Getting Air - by Dan Gutman

Can this be the perfect book for fourth grade boys? (They're a picky crowd, if you haven't noticed.) Really, it's a great book for anyone who loves a good adventure, and WOW is it an adventure.

Three teenage boys and one sister are traveling by plane from the east coast to California for a skateboarding competition, and are psyched. Their plane is full of old ladies heading to a knitting convention, and the boys strike up a friendship with one kind knitter as the plane takes off. Before long, though, terrorists take over the plane and threaten to blow it up. The kids and grannies work together to solve this problem, and as if this isn't enough of an adventure, they soon discover that the plane is about to crash deep in the Canadian wilderness. The only survivors are the kids, their friend the knitter, and a friendly flight attendant. Can they survive in the wild until their rescuers find them? It's not likely, except for one lucky fact - the youngest kid, Julia, is not only a brilliant Girl Scout, but has been reading Gary Paulsen's book Hatchet, in which the main character found himself in a very similar situation. What happens to our heroes? Do they ever skate again? If you're lucky enough to get your hands on this captivating book, you won't be willing to set it down until you've found out.

This is a MUST-READ for any middle age boy, anyone who likes to skate (board, that is), readers who love nature and the wilderness, and of course, anyone who has enjoyed the fabulous story Hatchet. It seems that Mr. Gutman had been reading Mr. Paulsen's book when he wrote this story, and we readers are lucky that he did, as this is the best Gutman yet.