Stealing Air by Trent Reedy
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Reading this I thought of many of Gary B. Schmidt's books, which I have a difficult time selling to MG readers but are loved by adults. The themes of bullying and owning your geekiness are not presented in a way that will really appeal to the target readers, although the skateboarding and the experimental airplane might (the rocket bicycle? definitely cool!).
Brian's move from Seattle to Iowa isn't starting well - his skateboarding skills are impressive, but he's run afoul of Frankie, the class bully. Rescued by Max, a Star Trek loving inventor, he tries to figure out how to fit in; Alex, his grandfather's handboy makes up the third in their Eagle's Nest lab. Alex is one of those fickle friends, hanging with the cool kids and ignoring Brian during school but being one of the "gang" after school and on weekends. That isn't as touched on as it could have been. Frankie's reasons for being "mean" are also touched on, but his comeuppance doesn't seem as though it would stop his bullying.
If there's been less on the theme of bullies and just more on the airplane and skateboarding this would have been a far better book.
ARC provided by publisher.