Synopses & Reviews
With a family always on the move, popularity and the ability to fit in quickly are vital to Brent Bishops high school survival. When he blows his chances with the girl of his dreams in front of everyone, hes devastated. Brent tries to end it all in a fatal car crash, but instead he finds an unlikely beginning. Hes sent on a journey of repentance—a cross-country trip building whirligigs. His wind toys are found by people in need: a Maine schoolgirl yearning for her first love, a Miami street-sweeper desperate for peace and quiet, a kid in Washington who just wants to play baseball, and a San Diego teenager dealing with loss. Brents whirligigs bring hope to others, but will they be able to heal the wounds deep inside himself?
“Complex and rewarding, this is a stellar addition to a consummate writers body of work.”—Publishers Weekly
, Starred Review
“This is a cathartic story of redemption. Brent, filled with self-doubt, guilt, and a host of worries, is a character today's adolescents will recognize and agonize with. 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.”—Voice of Youth Advocates
“Though Whirligig has linear movement, it impresses readers more with its sense of interconnected spiraling. . . . There is enormous vitality and hopefulness expressed in this brief masterwork.”—School Library Journal
“In an intricately structured novel, Fleischman skillfully connects the stories of several people to the evolution of his main character. . . . Brents journey is an embracing and an edifying one.”—The Horn Book
“The story as a whole and the inner sense of self that Brent achieves through his experiences are mesmerizing. The language of the whirligig stories gleams and soars: a metaphor of movement, dance, laughter, and irrepressible life.”—Booklist
When sixteen-year-old Brent Bishop inadvertently causes the death of a young woman, he is sent on an unusual journey of repentance, building wind toys across the land.
In his most ambitious novel to date, Newbery winner Paul Fleischman traces Brent's healing pilgrimage from Washington State to California, Florida, and Maine, and describes the many lives set into new motion by the ingenious creations Brent leaves behind.
Paul Fleischman is the master of multivoiced books for younger readers. In Whirligig he has created a novel about hidden connections that is itself a wonder of spinning hearts and grand surprises.
Sixteen-year-old Brent Bishop is sent on an unusual journey of repentance--building wind toys across the land--after he inadvertently causes the death of a young woman.
A terrible accident ends one life, but is just the beginning for another. . . .
About the Author
won a Newbery Medal for Joyful Noise
and a Newbery Honor for Graven Images
. He is also the author of the young adult novel The Mind's Eye
, and middle-grade novels including Bull Run
. He lives with his wife in northern California.