‘Flying Lessons’ (Terri's Book Review March 29)

So, have you heard the one about…?
Of course you have. You’re all over social media. You know what’s going on; sometimes it feels like you’ve heard it all, and maybe you have. Now, in “Flying Lessons & Other Stories,” edited by Ellen Oh, you’ll hear it from a different side.
When your family gets together, what kinds of stories do they tell about you?  Are they embarrassing or funny? Do you remember them, or was this something that merely lives in family lore? And doesn’t everybody have stories like that?
Oh says, “…no matter what, our stories are unique, just like we are.” And so she presents ten of them.
In “How to Transform an Everyday, Ordinary Hoop Court…” a future pro basketballer will do anything to make it big. It’s his “way out,” even if it means spending an entire summer being ignored by men he wants to emulate. What can a Mexican boy do to get in the game?
It’s hard to ignore a story that starts like this: “When I was sold to the Li family, my mother let Mrs. Li take me only after she’d promised that I would be taught to read.”  And there, “The Difficult Path,” begins a journey in which words save lives.
We all endure difficult times at some point. The difference between survival and failure is in the support you get, and in “The Beans and Rice Chronicles of Isaiah Dunn,” there are many in one young family’s existence, until help comes from beyond the grave.


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