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Young Adult Fiction Prejudice & Racism

Learning to Fly

by (author) Paul Yee

Orca Book Publishers
Initial publish date
Oct 2008
Prejudice & Racism, Emigration & Immigration, Drugs, Alcohol, Substance Abuse
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2008
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2008
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Oct 2008
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 12 to 18
  • Grade: 8 to 12
  • Reading age: 12 to 18


Jason is an outsider. A recent immigrant from China, he lives in a close-minded town with his mother and younger brother. Falling in with the wrong crowd, trying to fit in, Jason takes chances and ends up in trouble with the police. Holding on to his friendship with an Indigenous boy, also an outsider, Jason finds he needs to fight to belong and to find a new home.

About the author

Paul Yee is one of Canada's finest writers for children. He was raised in Vancouver and has worked in the archives at the Vancouver Museum. He won the Governor General's Literary Award for Children's Literature for Ghost Train. He now lives in Toronto.
Ghost Trainbr>    Winner of the Governor General's Literary Award 1996br>    Winner of the Ruth Schwartz Children's Book Award 1997br>    Finalist for the Toronto IODE Book Award 1997
The Bone Collector's Sonbr>    Winner of the City of Vancouver Book Award 2004br>    Finalist for the Rocky Mountain Book Award 2006br>    Finalist for the Stellar Book Award (BC Teen Readers' Choice Award) 2005-6br>    Chosen as Best of 2004, Resource
Bamboobr>    Finalist for the Chocolate Lily Award 2007 (BC Readers' Choice Award)br>    Chosen as Best of 2006, Resource Links
The Jade Necklacebr>    Finalist for the Mr. Christie's Book Award 2002

Paul Yee's profile page

Excerpt: Learning to Fly (by (author) Paul Yee)

The train swings around the curve. Its one headlight races toward us. High on the engine's nose, a window glints. The ground is shaking. I watch the train. It comes closer and closer. I dash to the tracks, watching a fence on the other side. Noise and wind swallow me. I jump.

Editorial Reviews

"There's a lot to think about in this small book. It might even be a book read to the end by kids who don't like to read."

Puget Sound Council for Reviewing Children's Media

"[Yee's] characters and their life struggles ring true and are likely to connect well with teen readers. Written in a fast-paced, easy-to-read style, this book should be successful with reluctant readers."

"Fast-paced, easy-to-read drama."

The Horn Book Guide

"This is a tale about the effects of prejudice and the redeeming power of friendship...A very good selection for reluctant readers in high school who need high interest books."

Tri State Young Adult Book Review Committee

"Reluctant readers will be drawn to this book because of the content and its length."


"Engage[s] the reader...This book will be useful in cultural diversity classes or for students who are having a hard time finding their place in school...Recommended."

Library Media Connection

"While maintaining young readers' interest in the plot, Yee's novel will also help them to develop and gain confidence in their reading skills."

CM Magazine

"Highly recommended."

Tucson Unified School District

"Yee's slim novel packs in a lot."


Other titles by Paul Yee