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Whirligig (Laurel Leaf Books)by Paul Fleischman
Synopses & Reviews
New to town, Brent Bishop longs to stroll around school with the popular Brianna on his arm. But when Brianna begs him at a party full of schoolmates to stop hounding her, Brent's hopes are shattered. Trying to escape his humiliation, he attempts to destroy himself in a car crash — and ends up killing Lea, an innocent teen unfortunate enough to cross his path.
Lea's mother asks one thing of Brent: that he create four whirligigs from a picture of Lea and set them up at the four corners of the United States. Lea's mother believes that by spreading the joy that whirligigs gave Lea as a child, Brent will keep Lea's spirit alive.
And so Brent goes off with an unlimited bus ticket and the tools he needs to memorialize Lea. On his journey, he rediscovers his own love of life, and he begins to realize how — like the pieces that form the intricate whirligigs — people come together to affect each other in surprising ways.
"[A] beautiful story of atonement, self-respect, learning to live with the consequences of one's actions, and discovering that what we do can have a profound influence on others. Fleischman skillfully intertwines the plot threads into one finely crafted novel." Children's Literature
"Fleischman's writing is filled with beautiful imagery, no more so than in the twirling arms of his whirligigs that remind readers that sustaining the human spirit in an imperfect world requires reaching out to others." VOYA
"There is enormous vitality and hopefulness expressed in this brief masterwork." School Library Journal
Brent Bishop longs to have the popular Brianna strolling around school on his arm. But when she rejects him at a classmate's party, Brent's hopes for popularity are instantly shattered. Devastated, he tries to destroy himself in a car crash... but instead kills an innocent girl named Lea.
Instead of sending him to jail, Lea's parents challenge Brent to create four whirligigs modeled on a picture of Lea and position them at the four corners of the United States. Lea's mother hopes that the whirligig that used to delight Lea will be a fitting memorial for her precious daughter. She sends Brent off with an unlimited bus ticket, a few pieces of wood, and the tools to memorialize Lea. On his mission to preserve his victim's memory, Brent ultimately rediscovers his own love of life.
In this acclaimed novel, a dejected boy tries to kill himself in a car crash and ends up killing an innocent teen. The victim's mother asks that the boy create four whirligigs from a picture of the girl and set them up at the four corners of the United States to keep her spirit alive.
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