Thursday, September 3, 2015

Blog Tour: Review & Giveaway for Jason McIntire's New Release FLIGHT SCHOOL

Well, I promised that we'd be having a busy - and fun! - week here at A Brighter Destiny. Thus it continues with this review and giveaway (How I love those!) for Jason McIntire's FLIGHT SCHOOL, the stand-alone sequel to THE SPARROW FOUND A HOUSE.


First of all, what's Flight School about? :-)
For those of you who have read The Sparrow Found a House, you'll welcome back the Rivera-Sparrow family. For those of you who haven't read the previous book in this series, you'll love meeting each member of this household, from parrot-raising youngster Moe right on up to the highly-disciplined but loving Sergeant.

This story (which could certainly be read as a stand-alone) continues to detail the personal, educational, and especially spiritual growth of the Rivera-Sparrow children as well as their close friend, concentrating on the three eldest: Ben, Chris, and Jessie. In one spring and summer, these three face difficult decisions and must learn how their faith in Jesus Christ applies to real life situations -- career choices, romantic relationships, and friendships.

What Did I Think?
In Flight School, Jason McIntire has created another wholesome, engaging contemporary story that affirms traditional values, all done with the author's trademark gentle humor. The interesting plot - surrounding Christian movie-making as well as law internships - not only entertains but also encourages young people to think more deeply about the consequences of their behaviors and actions.

Because the novel focuses on the upper-teen members of the family, the story is of most interest to ages 13 and up. However, younger children would surely enjoy the majority of the story, especially the parts about the family as a whole. Indeed, this is a wonderful read-aloud story for the whole family - The story - the characters and their choices, their motives and their thoughts - provide a truly excellent jumping-off point for family discussions.

Overall, highly recommended. I'm planning on giving this book as a Christmas gift to a younger cousin.

What I Loved:
There was a lot! :-) I'll stick with three points.

1. The discussion that Jessie has with "Sarge" (her stepdad) near the end of the book. The focus on Christ was so excellently interwoven here, pulling all the mini-storylines of the novel together. Quoting:

"'Walk in the Spirit, and you will not fulfill the lust of the flesh.' Not 'keep the rules' like John or 'make it up as you go along' like Galen. Walk in the Spirit," [Sarge explained.]
"That seems hard to define," Jessie doubted.
"It is hard to define," Sarge agreed. "That's one of the reasons you and I can't do it on our own, by 'trying our best.' It requires constant dependence on the only One whose life can empower us to live for Him. And people do fear that, Jessie. The law seems safe and predictable by comparison to the Spirit, and they gravitate toward it.... Or else.... they proclaim 'liberty' and proceed to do what they like without regard to God and His Word. Either way, the Spirit is shut out and they're defeated before they start.... Each person no matter what their heritage or denominational background, can know and follow God by faith. He doesn't deal with institutions, but with individual hearts. And if someone is open to Him, He'll send them more light."

2. How the spiritual growth of the characters was so integral to the novel, yet never preachy! McIntire handled this deftly. Having worked with them, I believe that teenagers are starving for spiritual guidance that is relevant (in the best sense of that word) to their actual, contemporary decisions. In particular, Jessie provides an excellent role model for upper-teen girls.

3. The way that the family reached out to those around them with the love of Christ. This is a central aspect of the novel, and the Rivera-Sparrow parents demonstrate this the most, with their children learning from them. In line with this, the redemption theme for many of the minor character is excellent - hinting, in some cases, that there may be a third book! :-)

Parents of young children might want to know:
As I mentioned above, Flight School focuses on the teenagers in the Rivera-Sparrow family. That means that mentions of romantic attractions (though these mentions are mild by my conservative standard), particularly in the case of aspiring lawyer Ben and Chloe. What I loved about the handling of these romantic attractions was the way that McIntire brought the focus back to how Ben/Chloe's walk with Christ should direct their paths. Well-done.

Flight School is published by Elisha Press. You may purchase e-book OR print copies directly from their website or on Amazon / other online booksellers. Click HERE to go to Elisha Press' website.

{Giveaway is administered by Elisha Press.}

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing; this looks like a great book.


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