Z's Corner: Whirligig by Paul Fleischman

Hey, everyone, I recently read a book for school called Whirligig by Paul Fleischman. It’s a pretty good book. At the beginning the main character Brent has emotional issues and has just moved to Chicago. He moves a whole lot and tries to fit in everywhere he goes. He goes to a party and tries to talk to a girl he likes but it doesn’t quite work out. The guys at the party make fun of him so he gets really upset and ends up driving drunk and attempting to kill himself. Instead, he kills another young girl in a car accident. He feels incredibly guilty throughout the novel.

He gets off with just probation and having to do a task for the family, whatever the mother of the daughter says. The mother tells Brent she wants him to go to the four corners of the country and build whirligigs in her daughter’s honor and take pictures of them and bring them back. Brent agrees to do this. The first place he goes is Washington. Then he goes to California. All throughout his trip he is maturing and getting better as a person as he is building these whirligigs. After California, are Florida and then his final stop in Maine. He gets to all these places by bus which I could imagine was rather uncomfortable and lengthy in trip time because of the many stops in between.

While Brent was traveling he wanted to become both a different and better person and he accomplished that. He definitely seemed comfortable in his own skin and remorseful for the accident by the end of the novel. Brent was a good person all along but he was unable to show his true colors because he was always trying to fit in with someone else. He is becoming his own individual at the end and also becoming an artist as his whirligigs got better and better.