Okay, so technically Sherman Alexie’s 2007 novel Flight isn’t exactly a young adult novel. However, I think it reads like one, and would be really good for young adults, so I’m classifying it as such. Inspired by Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five, this quick read is a new spin on an old classic.
It follows the life of a teenager called Zits (you don’t find out his real name until the last page of the novel) who’s struggling with what it means to be a half-Irish, half-Native American teenager in the United States today. More specifically, it follows Zits’ adventures as he travels through time in an attempt to figure out where he fits into society today. Alexie’s novel grapples with a number of tough issues ranging from race to identity to morals. Yet somehow, it manages to deal with them all simultaneously without feeling preachy or getting bogged down by the seriousness of these things. Instead, Alexie’s trademark sense of humor keeps things light throughout the novel and make this book a quick and interesting read.
GOOD FOR: Fans of Slaughterhouse-Five, people who enjoy thought-provoking literature, and those looking for a little humor.
BAD FOR: Those who find Alexie’s humor abrasive, people who don’t like anything remotely resembling time-travel, and readers who have had enough of guns and war for the time being.
GOOD WITH: Slaughterhouse-Five, Time’s Arrow, and The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared.