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Fleming, David. 
New York : Viking, 2013
IL 5-8, RL 4.9
ISBN 0670785512

(2 booktalks)
Click on the book to read Amazon reviews
Booktalk #1

Derek Lamb is eleven years old, likes superheroes, Saturday morning cartoons and Chocolate Ka Blams.   For a long time, his father has been in Afghanistan piloting Apache helicopters for the US Army.  On this latest deployment, it has been more than eight months since Derek’s Dad has been home.  The letters they write to each other, ninety-one letters to date, serve to bridge the gap between them.  Along with his Dad serving in a war zone, Derek has to endure the taunting of Budgie, a boy who once was his best friend.  Will a new friend and the distraction of the school play help Derek cope at school and carry the burdens at home?   Read this dramatic and often humorous story of “The Saturday Boy”. 
   (New Hampshire Great Stone Face Book Award nominee, 2015)

Booktalk #2

Eleven-year-old Derek lives with his mother while his father is in Afghanistan, where he has been off and on for most of Derek's life. Derek misses his father and they write back and forth - 91 letters are exchanged. Derek struggles at school with his peers and often gets into trouble as a result of his inability to deal with his emotions and frequent taunts from his peers. He also struggles with the fact that one close friend is cruel to him at school but nice to him in private when no one else is looking. He is told to be the "bigger person" as his mother is somewhat blind to the bullying her son receives at school. Derek muddles through and learns that sometimes life is hard and you just have to do your best to navigate through it.   (Vermont Dorothy Canfield Fisher award, 2015)

SUBJECTS:     Bullies -- Fiction.
                        Schools -- Fiction.
                        Behavior -- Fiction.
                        Families of military personnel -- Fiction.
                        Family life -- Fiction.
                        Domestic fiction.

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