LITERATURE

Ash the Flash

Ash the Flash

Level: Primary| General

Series Title: Sand Pebbles Pleasure Series (SPPS)

Subject: Literature

ISBN: 978 976 638 121 9

Pages: 108

Age Group: 10 - 12 years

Published: 2014

In this story, every boy's fantasy comes alive for Ashton Longmore when he finds himself able to run at unbelievable speeds. He can run faster than Usain Bolt! He can run so fast he is only a blur on the field. How did this happen? Where will this lead him? Can he control the speed so he is not labelled a freak ... or worse? Can he use this speed to get victory at the athletic meet for his school? His best friend, Kenroi Donaldson, tries to help him manage this gift and they get into several exciting situations along the way. When they realize that the gift is waning, and there is a strong possibility that he might not win against the rival school's superstar at an important meet, Ash has to summon all his natural strength to prove to himself that he can win and make his school and father proud.

Authors

Hazel D. Campbell
has written and edited stories for children and has produced children's programmes for radio and television. She teaches story writing for children at the UWI. She is the recipient of the 1997 Vic Reid Award for Children's Literature. She is also the series editor for Carlong's Sand Pebbles Pleasure Series for children.
Nattalie Gordon
is the 2010 winner of the National Reading Competition and a multiple-time entrant and awardee in the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission's (JCDC) Creative Writing Competition. In 2013 she won two gold medals in the competition.

Key Features

Although seemingly realistic, this story falls under the genre of fantasy as the incident which started the events in the story is unreal. There is a brief note in the introduction to explain this to readers.
  • The language of the story is mostly Standard English often in the more informal style used and easily understood by the age group.
  • The story places emphasis on an individual's growth towards making the right moral decisions.
  • The main characters in the story are boys as it is aimed at encouraging boys to read. This is a boy-to-enjoy book. Girls will enjoy it too.
  • The characters are well drawn, likeable, and representative of experiences in Grade 6.
  • The setting - school and especially athletic meets - is a popular one today.
  • The story shows both the strengths and weaknesses of friendship as Kenroi tries to influence Ashton's choices.
  • The all important message about the danger of taking drugs to enhance performance is not hammered but gradually revealed as the story progresses.
  • This book is an excellent choice for supplementary reading in schools or at home.

Look out For:

  • Constant action
  • A tightly controlled plot

Notes To Teachers:

Ash the Flash will be an excellent addition to the classroom literature texts as well as to the library.
  • Research skills Students can be encouraged to use the Internet and libraries or use stories they have heard from friends and family or in the media to discuss the topical subject of taking drugs to enhance performance.
  • Character development There are interesting characters and situations and themes in this story for students to examine.
  • Communication skills The story can be used to introduce debate procedures and written exercises on different themes: e.g. family strengths and weaknesses, friendship, should parents try to force their children to follow their own ambitions.
  • Values and Attitudes The story can be used to start discussions on individual as well as family and school community values and attitudes especially as they relate to the development of athletic abilities.
  • Social Studies This novel is an ideal complementary reader for Social Studies in the discussion of family life. Ashton is from a one parent family, Kenroi lives with his grandmother.