Flight #116 is Down

by Caroline Cooney

Publishers Weekly : Using her trademark lightning pace, Cooney depicts the drama and human interest inherent in disaster. A full 747 jetliner crashes late one Saturday night in the tiny upstate New York town of Nearing Falls. The rescue crew, including teen ambulance drivers and paramedics, must battle prejudice, resentment and fear to discover their own brand of bravery. Cooney ( Don't Blame the Music ) captures the lives of both rescuers and passengers with a facile but not unpleasant touch. Her cast includes several conventionally troubled youths, including two brothers en route to their father's second wedding, a spoiled and glamorous rich kid and a runaway on her way home. The author's fluid command of action and suspense, however, redeems these stylistic shortcomings. Like The Poseidon Adventure and Airport , this story will keep even the least bookish readers glued to their seats. Ages 12-up.

Copyright 1992 Cahners Business Information, Inc. Distributed by Syndetic Solutions Inc. Terms

School Library Journal : Gr 7-10-- Patrick, 17, finds it ironic that he needs to request hall passes to go to the library, while as an emergency medical technician he can deliver babies and save lives without such childish restrictions. Wealthy Heidi longs to feel competent at something and close to someone. Daniel, 15, must escort his younger brother to a wedding he desperately hopes won't take place. Spoiled Darienne can only focus on the small, insignificant negatives of life. All of these disparate personalities and more are thrown together by the cataclysmic crash of a 747 on Heidi's rural estate. Don't expect the unity or finely brushed characterization of Cooney's Don't Blame the Music (Putnam, 1986). This time, her third-person narration and rapidly shifting viewpoints have awkward results, much like a shooting sequence for an action-packed TV movie. However, it is these very qualities that may engage the attention of unsophisticated or reluctant readers. The author has done her research on emergency rescue; the crash scene and its evolving confusion are vividly detailed, and a great deal of information is conveyed. Human frailty and strengths are counterpoised. For every overdone character flaw (even the dogs don't like Darienne), there are rewarding bits and the importance of being loved and contributing to the welfare of others is reaffirmed. Sure to be popular.

Cindy Darling Codell, Clark Middle School, Winchester, KY Distributed by Syndetic Solutions Inc. Terms

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