Ash the Flash
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.
- 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:
- 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.