word craft


Man from the Sky

Man from the Sky

Knopf, 1980

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audio book nar­rat­ed by 
George Guidall

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What’s this book about?

In an almost fail­proof scheme, a man para­chutes from an air­plane with a large amount of mon­ey, only to be seen by a boy who has a rep­u­ta­tion for see­ing things in the clouds.

Every­one knows that Jamie is a dream­er. When he looks up at the sky, instead of clouds he sees knights and drag­ons from cen­turies past and fab­u­lous crea­tures from far-off lands. But one day he looks up and sees some­thing even more incred­i­ble: a man in a busi­ness suit para­chut­ing from a plane.

Story Behind the Story

On Novem­ber 14, 1971, a man who came to be known as “D.B. Coop­er” hijacked a Boe­ing 727 air­craft when it was fly­ing between Port­land, Ore­gon, and Seat­tle, Wash­ing­ton. It was the first plane hijack­ing in the US. The man leaped from the plane—when it was flying—and para­chut­ed some­where with a mass of stolen mon­ey. It is not known if he sur­vived, who he real­ly was, or what hap­pened to the money.

All those unknowns did not keep any num­ber of peo­ple from inves­ti­gat­ing the event, and try­ing to find out—or invent—what in fact hap­pened. I can recall talk­ing to a crime reporter who told me he knew the whole sto­ry, hav­ing “just inter­viewed” D.B. Coop­er. But the reporter would tell me no more. “Sav­ing it for my news­pa­per,” he said. Oh, sure.

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Awards and Recognition

  • IRA Chil­dren’s Choice, 1980
  • Starred Review, Book­list, 1980


“Avi com­bines sim­plic­i­ty of style with wit as he builds a believ­able, grip­ping plot that is high­ly acces­si­ble to young read­ers.” (Book­list, starred review)

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if you liked this book, try: