Flight Risk
A debut novel inspired by true events, about a teenage boy who has stolen―and crashed―not one, but three airplanes. And each time he’s walked away unscathed.Who is Robert Jackson Kelly? Is he a juvenile delinquent? A criminal mastermind? A folk hero? One thing is clear: Robert always defies what people think of him. And now, the kid who failed at school, relationships, and almost everything in life, is determined to successfully steal and land a plane.Told as an investigation into Robert’s psyche, the narrative includes multiple points of view as well as documentary elements like emails, official records, and interviews with people who knew Robert. Ultimately, Flight Risk is a thrilling story about one teenager who is determined to find a moment of transcendence after everyone else has written him off as lost."Teens will love the documentary-style narrative and will root for underdog antihero Robert." --Donald Peebles, School Library Journal"Fenn's ambitious debut novel is part oral history, part tall tale, and part suspense story . . . Inspired by real events (the life of Colton Harris-Moore, aka the Barefoot Bandit), Fenn has penned an original, thrilling tale with wide appeal, including for older reluctant readers." ​-- Caitlin Kling, Booklist

Flight Risk Details

TitleFlight Risk
Author
FormatHardcover
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJul 18th, 2017
PublisherRoaring Brook Press
ISBN1626727600
ISBN-139781626727601
Number of pages256 pages
Rating
GenreYoung Adult, Young Adult Contemporary, Teen

Flight Risk Review

  • Amy Giles
    January 23, 2017
    Robert Jackson Kelly is the perfect anti-hero. Some see him as a folk hero, others a juvenile delinquent. And while you can’t help but root for him, I was desperate to see Robert get the help he so sorely needed. Fenn is never heavy handed, telling Robert’s story from the very beginning and subtly revealing the many ways his small town, parents, teachers, and peers have let him down until stealing planes becomes his one defining moment. The writing is beautiful. Robert’s story will stay with me Robert Jackson Kelly is the perfect anti-hero. Some see him as a folk hero, others a juvenile delinquent. And while you can’t help but root for him, I was desperate to see Robert get the help he so sorely needed. Fenn is never heavy handed, telling Robert’s story from the very beginning and subtly revealing the many ways his small town, parents, teachers, and peers have let him down until stealing planes becomes his one defining moment. The writing is beautiful. Robert’s story will stay with me for a long time.
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  • Jennifer Bardsley
    May 23, 2017
    My twelve year old son read this book in two days and loved it! Here's what he had to say:"FLIGHT RISK is a smart take on the story of a teen who steals not one, not two, but three planes! The book opens up with Robert's trouble childhood, with his father murdering an old lady and his mother being a smoker; it was truly a troubled time. Despite the somewhat slow start, the book had a very strong middle and end. Robert is caught for a misdemeanor drug charge because his friend duped him in to giv My twelve year old son read this book in two days and loved it! Here's what he had to say:"FLIGHT RISK is a smart take on the story of a teen who steals not one, not two, but three planes! The book opens up with Robert's trouble childhood, with his father murdering an old lady and his mother being a smoker; it was truly a troubled time. Despite the somewhat slow start, the book had a very strong middle and end. Robert is caught for a misdemeanor drug charge because his friend duped him in to giving up his Adderall. He is then sent to a wilderness therapy camp where he breaks out and steals and crashes his first plane. Robert then lives life as a fugitive at someone summer home until his next flight. Already a local celebrity, after crashing his second plane Robert becomes a national celeb. After his third flight he ****REMOVED DUE TO SPOILERS.****Overall, this book was a great read!!!
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  • Gwen Cole
    June 12, 2017
    Once I started reading, I couldn't put this book down. The way this story is told and the way the author switches povs, grabs you from the start and keeps you reading and cheering on Robert every step of the way. This book was exactly what I wanted it to be and can't recommend it enough.
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  • Mike Grosso
    April 5, 2017
    Based on a true story, but trust me when I tell you that no matter how well you know the facts, you have no idea where this story is going. Robert Jackson Kelly is an odd mix of daredevil and folk hero, and you can't help but root for him.I am not an aviator, but I could wear Jennifer Fenn is from the depth of detail she includes. I felt like I was in the cockpit right alongside Kelly.An authentic, stellar debut that will keep you breathless until the very end.
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  • Amanda Searcy
    April 24, 2017
    This book is so cool and unique! It is the documentary-style, based-on-a-true-story journey of a very interesting young man trying to figure it all out--and stealing some planes along the way. The characters are great and complex and the plot so engrossing that you will want to read it in one sitting. This would make a great movie!
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  • Ruth Lehrer
    February 7, 2017
    Hello movie-makers! Jennifer Fenn’s debut, a suspenseful, fun story that makes the reader root for the hero/antihero, would be great on screen. Her skillful writing makes this a quick read. I look forward to whatever book she writes next.
  • Jessica Smith
    April 12, 2017
    So... This book. It's one of those that I'm not sure I would have read on my own had I not heard such amazing things (I'm a fantasy reader). But I'm so glad I did!!! Also, two words: the cover. Gorgeous. What really intrigued me to no end was that this story was inspired by true events (and ones I wasn't at all aware of but looked right into because how fascinating?!). Flight Risk is written in 3 main points of view: from the main character, Robert's, his mother's, and then through the sheriff's So... This book. It's one of those that I'm not sure I would have read on my own had I not heard such amazing things (I'm a fantasy reader). But I'm so glad I did!!! Also, two words: the cover. Gorgeous. What really intrigued me to no end was that this story was inspired by true events (and ones I wasn't at all aware of but looked right into because how fascinating?!). Flight Risk is written in 3 main points of view: from the main character, Robert's, his mother's, and then through the sheriff's voice. All three were equally compelling, but, I really held onto Robert's every word. I mean, I was rooting for the kid 100%. Fenn put such an amazing spin on a subject you'd think would be black and white. But, as most things go, there's so much gray! And in that gray lies the magic that is Robert Jackson Kelly. If you're looking for a great adventure and one that could totally happen (it basically did!), this is the book for you! If you love YA contemporary novels, this is the book for you! If you love reality TV, this is the book for you! If you love out of the box narratives, this is the book for you! If you love great writing and a story that grabs you from the beginning, this is the book for you! Will definitely recommend to everyone from my dad to my niece!
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  • Lisa Brennan
    June 14, 2017
    Flight Risk is an authentically unique and truly captivating story for teen readers. While we are all professionally committed to never assigning books as ideal for one gender or another, I approach all books I read through the lens of the readers I serve --- and I'm a veteran librarian at an all-boys Middle School. This book will have immediate appeal among male readers. While it's easy to find realistic fiction that targets spies, sports, or survival, this story soars with subjects we don't se Flight Risk is an authentically unique and truly captivating story for teen readers. While we are all professionally committed to never assigning books as ideal for one gender or another, I approach all books I read through the lens of the readers I serve --- and I'm a veteran librarian at an all-boys Middle School. This book will have immediate appeal among male readers. While it's easy to find realistic fiction that targets spies, sports, or survival, this story soars with subjects we don't see often: airplanes, crime, and surfing. These hot topics, enclosed within a bold eye-catching cover, are certain to attract attention. Flight Risk is also an ideal recommendation for reluctant readers. Why? Fenn’s writing style strikes the perfect balance between crisp prose and sensory image development. Readers will move swiftly through the text, but also "feel" and "see" the story due to brilliant use of concise, yet powerful, descriptive language. Short chapters offer a feature that we know reluctant readers love, yet avid readers will value the depth of this original story. Due to brief references of drinking, drugs, and online pornography, school librarians are advised to read this title before determining whether or not it will fit in their collection. Conclusion: an amazingly original story that is sure to be a hit among teens seeking realistic reads. ~ ARC copy via Netgalley ~ Lisa Brennan, Middle School Librarian
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  • Alexa
    July 24, 2017
    Actual Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5.I loved how the different POVs played in with the interviews, the news clippings, and all the other pieces that rounded out the narrative. It just amounted to this fascinating contrast of the way everyone else saw Robert, pretending to know what was going on in his head, and then the way Robert saw Robert when he was in his head. Everywhere else, he was anything and everything. In his head, in truth, he was a kid. A stupid kid in way over his head who just wante Actual Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5.I loved how the different POVs played in with the interviews, the news clippings, and all the other pieces that rounded out the narrative. It just amounted to this fascinating contrast of the way everyone else saw Robert, pretending to know what was going on in his head, and then the way Robert saw Robert when he was in his head. Everywhere else, he was anything and everything. In his head, in truth, he was a kid. A stupid kid in way over his head who just wanted one moment of total escape and freedom. And I mean, I really hate stupid and there’s no real way you can condone the things he did. But. I so felt for him. I can’t necessarily say that I felt love for him, but the author skillfully showed me into his heart and his mind, so that I could at least understand where he was coming from. My heart went out to him, and I wanted things to turn out well.If you'd like to hear more of my thoughts on this book, you can find the full review on Verbosity Reviews.
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  • Vera
    May 19, 2017
    Thank you to the publisher for sending me an ARC of this book! It is very different from most other YA novels that I've read recently, both in terms of plot and in terms of writing style. I really enjoyed getting to know the main character, Robert Jackson Kelley, and following him as he grew up and turned into a teenager who stole and crashed planes. I also enjoyed the "documentary" style of the novel, including "interviews" with other characters which provided many different perspectives on the Thank you to the publisher for sending me an ARC of this book! It is very different from most other YA novels that I've read recently, both in terms of plot and in terms of writing style. I really enjoyed getting to know the main character, Robert Jackson Kelley, and following him as he grew up and turned into a teenager who stole and crashed planes. I also enjoyed the "documentary" style of the novel, including "interviews" with other characters which provided many different perspectives on the events in the story. I would definitely recommend this book to teens, or really to anyone who is looking for a fun adventure with deep character development.
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  • Erin Kelly
    July 31, 2017
    Loved this book. Extremely well-crafted. Robert is one of the most three-dimensional characters I've read in a long time -- he could practically walk off the page. The same is true of the other characters, too. The short vignettes allow the book to move quickly. It's a visual experience, like a movie on paper. One of my favorites so far this year. Bravo!
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  • Michelle Olms
    July 22, 2017
    Great book
  • Alexandra Ott
    May 15, 2017
    This book is so much fun! I read it almost in one sitting because I couldn't put it down. It's suspenseful and thrilling from page one, and I just had to find out how it was going to end!
  • Corabel Shofner
    November 5, 2016
    What a fantastic premise!
  • Jennifer
    March 30, 2017
    Read for professional review.
  • Mrs.Heather Lassley
    April 25, 2017
    I just could not finish it. It jumped around too much for me. I like the story line, but it lacked focus.
  • Jennifer Fenn
    February 21, 2016
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