A Novel

Book - 2007 | First edition.
Average Rating:
Rate this:
A first-person novel from the viewpoint of an angry biracial teenager (his father was native and his late mother Irish-American); as a foster child, he has spent most of his life moving from one negative or abusive home but is encouraged by his friend Justice, an older white boy he meets in jail, to committ random violence. In the middle of a mass shooting in a Seattle bank, he is suddently transported to the past and into the body of a stranger, the first of many similar incidents. Several of these strangers including his father confront or are Indians..Returning to his own body in the bank, he recognizes the consequences of his violence and decides to seek help; he finds people he can trust and where he can "get unlonely".
Publisher: New York : Black Cat, [2007]
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2007
ISBN: 9780802170378
Branch Call Number: ALE
Characteristics: 181 pages ;,21 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Feb 10, 2019

As an avid fan of Sherman Alexie I was not disappointed with this book. It follows the story of Zits, a teen who has been in and out of abusive foster homes his entire life. After feeling deep hatred for those who have hurt him in the past, he finally decides to listen to "Justice" and makes a plan to shoot up a bank, even going so far as bringing the gun to the bank in his coat pocket. He then, by some intervention, gets transported to different points in history when killing and violence was done in the name of "Justice" and then, at the end, gets transported into the body of his father who abandoned him and his mom years ago. A very thoughtful storyline in a very "Alexie" way. Be warned — this book is very intense as far as graphic imagery, violence, and language and should not be given to young adults lightly. This book should definitely be used to warrant a discussion or thought. Highly recommend — with caution!

ArapahoeStaff19 Jul 31, 2017

No one writes quite like Alexie. He's got a sharp tongue, a warm heart, and a belly full of fire. The best part is this his work always seems to remain relevant, despite the year published. In Flight we meet 15 year old Zits, American- Indian, orphaned pyromaniac, in and out of juvenile detention and foster homes. He's about to make the worst decision of his life, and that's where this story takes off. Think mash-up between It's a Wonderful Life and Trainspotting. Wild, and touching.

Jun 16, 2016

I love the way this story is told. It's very touching and wise.

mvkramer Feb 03, 2016

This novel packs a lot of punch, and for such a short work, it has a lot to say - about the universality of good and evil, about how violence breeds violence and people who are hurt go on to hurt others, and in the end, about how one person can choose to break the cycle with a little help. Great work, from a great author.

PimaLib_MaryG Jan 30, 2016

Sherman Alexie is one of my favorite writers and this is one of my favorite books. About to commit an act of extreme violence, Zits, a Native teen who is lost in foster care, is transported in time and experiences past violent events through the bodies of actual participants. He returns to the present moment a changed person. Powerful.

Jul 23, 2015

This book is a quick-read that still meaningfully says a lot about cycles of violence, empathy, identity, and family. The narrator, Zits, has been in foster care for many different years. His isolation makes him susceptible to the violent influence of an older kid who has named himself Justice. The book takes a surreal turn as Zits begins to time-travel into the bodies of other violent people who are also looking for connection and redemption.

Jul 19, 2015

This novel reminded me From Dusk til Dawn in that it started out like a normal Alexie piece and then all of the sudden things got weird. And I love weird. It was a surreal, time traveling, insightful and disturbing nightmare. My only complaint would be that sometimes Alexie can be like studio Grateful Dead. You want him to take his little side stories for a nice walk but they end up being too short.

mondaysomeday Sep 13, 2013

I'm very impressed by the way this book takes the reader through many perspectives on violence, revenge, and repeating cycles of self-destructive behavior. It's not as funny as Alexie's other books (which are often equally macabre) which is totally fine.

This is indeed an excellent coming of age story of a mixed aboriginal/Irish youth raised in foster care. He is very angry and is on the cusp of either punishing society and himself for this anger or coming to terms with the faults of his social and personal history.The author uses an interesting literary tool of 'time travel' to draw the charachter towards his own redemption. An heart felt story, well balanced with humour and sad reality of a neglected child. I would like to see this on high school cirriculum.


Add a Summary
Mar 08, 2011

From beginning to end a very fast read. I'm not sure about all the hype, but there were some good images here as well as a learning experience. I always like a good ending. but I'm not sure why this book deserves "questions for discussion" at the end. perhaps meant for high school class discussion, if that is the case it should be noted that there is a fair amount of foul language in this book. I suppose it could be included for authenticity but as I have always taught my kids. Anyone can use language like that. It takes a better mind to use more descriptive language.


Add Notices
mvkramer Feb 03, 2016

Violence: Zits experiences some violent times in history, and the author doesn't shy away from them. War, child abuse, torture, and desecration of the dead all make an appearance.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at EPL

To Top