Flying Lessons & Other Stories

Looking for a collection of short stories highlighting the lives of 10 diverse characters from 10 different authors yet all sharing the commonality of being an adolescent? Then you need to take a look at Flying Lessons & Other Stories, edited by Ellen Oh, cofounder of We Need Diverse Books.

Dedicated to Walter Dean Myers, Flying Lessons & Other Stories includes stories from Kwame Alexander, Kelly J. Baptist, Soman Chainani, Matt de la Peña, Tim Federle, Grace Lin, Meg Medina, Walter Dean Myers, Ellen Oh, Tim Tingle, and Jacqueline Woodson. From a boy’s love of basketball to a girl becoming a pirate, these stories will captivate readers by giving them a glimpse into the life of someone else doing their best to live an enjoyable life.

I was lucky enough to meet Meg Medina at Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasadena this past week. I asked if I could take a photo of her with my copy of the book thanks to the Los Angeles Public Library. Here’s her pose 🙂

I would recommend this collection to any 6th -8th grader interested in reading a collection of fictional stories that gives them a glimpse into the lives of a diverse group of characters.

The collection would also be fitting within a classroom setting (or after school program). A teacher could have students jigsaw the text and/or pick and choose stories that interested them and discuss those stories with others interested in the same topics. I’ve made a double-sided activity you are welcome to download via the link below that incorporates each of the stories. Readers will need to draw an image that is representative of each story as well as write an essay answering a question related to the collection as a whole.


If you’re interested in supporting the activity financially, it is also available on Teachers Pay Teachers. Thanks in advance if you’re considering its purchase.

Your librarian,

Katelyn Martens-Rodriguez