Read The Saturday Boy by DavidFleming Online


If I've learned anything from comic books, it's that everybody has one thing that can totally ruin their day without fail. For the wolfman it's a silver bullet. For Superman it's kryptonite. For me it was a letter. With one letter, my dad was sent back to Afghanistan to fly Apache helicopters for the U.S. army. Now all I have are his letters. Ninety-one of them to be exactIf I've learned anything from comic books, it's that everybody has one thing that can totally ruin their day without fail. For the wolfman it's a silver bullet. For Superman it's kryptonite. For me it was a letter. With one letter, my dad was sent back to Afghanistan to fly Apache helicopters for the U.S. army. Now all I have are his letters. Ninety-one of them to be exact. I keep them in his old plastic lunchbox—the one with the cool black car on it that says Knight Rider underneath. Apart from my comic books, Dad's letters are the only things I read more than once. I know which ones to read when I'm down and need a pick-me-up. I know which ones will make me feel like I can conquer the world. I also know exactly where to go when I forget Mom's birthday. No matter what, each letter always says exactly what I need to hear. But what I want to hear the most is that my dad is coming home....

Title : The Saturday Boy
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780670785513
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 272 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Saturday Boy Reviews

  • Samantha
    2019-06-09 06:51

    I liked the Saturday Boy a lot. It was very sad to me though I did get lost a few times on what was going on in the book. Overall it was a really good book and I enjoyed it a lot.

  • Alex Baugh
    2019-06-14 23:09

    Eleven year old Derek Lamb's father has been flying Apache helicopters in Afghanistan for most of Derek's life and just when it looked like he was finished, he was called back into service there. Now, Derek is having a hard time in school, at home, and with his former best friend, Budgie.To comfort himself, Derek reads and rereads the letters his dad has sent him over the course of Derek's young life - all 91 of them kept in his dad's old plastic Knight Rider lunch box. Derek has read the letters so often he know which letters to read when he wants them to say exactly what he needs them to say. Derek also has a fondness for comic books, and superheroes, like Zeroman and Dinoman, something he used to share with Budgie. Now, though, Budgie has become pretty mean to Derek, making his life miserable every chance he can at school.Derek's own lack of focus makes him an easy target for a bully like Budgie - which is how he earned the nickname Saturday boy. Budgie and his mom found Derek waiting at the school bus stop in the pouring rain on Saturday morning. And by Monday morning, everyone knew about it.Budgie continues to be antagonist to Derek in school. When the boys are back at school, after spending a fun (at least for Derek) day playing at Budgie house, Budgie humiliates Derek in front of the other kids, even letting him know that Derek is his archenemy. Later, when Derek seeks revenge, it backfires. Hurt and angry, Derek takes to magic markers and the boys' room wall to express his feelings about Derek, which earns him a trip to the principle's office, and a call home to his already stressed out, somewhat distracted mom. Just when Derek's 11 year old life seems like to couldn't get any more difficult for him, he learns that his dad's helicopter has been shot down and his dad didn't survive. Suddenly, everything changes for Derek.I picked this book up to read rather reluctantly last Sunday. I wasn't in much of a reading mood, but I had to read it for something. It didn't take long to become riveted to Derek's story and I finished the book a few hours later. What a surprise! I loved it. Engagingly told in the first person by Derek, it is exactly the kind of coming of age story I am most attracted to. When I first started reading, I thought maybe Derek was a little slow, he seemed to miss social sures and other things, but his lack of attention, I think, is perfectly normal for kids who have a parent deployed in a war zone. And in that respect, David Fleming is spot on with his depiction of Derek and his anxiety, his anger and his distractedness and, for that matter, of his mother, a nurse who loses herself in her job. The Saturday Boy is funny, sad, realistic and compelling. It's not about bullying per se, though Fleming skillfully gives the reader a nice look into the mind of a bully, making what he does understandable, but without condoning it. Budgie is, after all, what Derek's father calls "a target rich environment," overweight, with a terrible nickname covering a really embarrassing first name. Vulnerable to bullying himself, he recognizes Derek's vulnerability and attacks before being attacks.The Saturday Boy is Fleming's debut and definitely one that you surely don't want to miss. This book is recommended for readers age 10+This book was borrowed from the NYPLThis review was originally posted at Randomly Reading

  • Debra
    2019-06-05 23:10

    Received from Goodreads first reads giveawayI would give this book 4.5 stars if I could. This book is told by 11 year old Derek. Derek lives with his Mother while his father is in Afghanistan. His father has been in Afghanistan off and on for most of Derek's life. Derek misses his father and they write back and forth - 91 letters are exchanged. Derek struggles at school with his peers and often gets into trouble as a result of his inability to deal with his emotions and frequent taunts from his peers. He also struggles with the fact that one close friend is cruel to him at school but nice to him in private when no one else is looking. He is told to be the "bigger person" as his Mother is somewhat blind to the bullying her son receives at school. Derek muddles through and learns that sometimes life is hard and you just have to do your best to navigate through it. This book was very well written and the characters well developed. I found my eyes tearing up several tims throughout the book. I read this book in two days. It was hard to put down. I highly recommend this book.

  • Peg
    2019-06-11 03:55

    This is terrifically moving, well-written story about 11-year-old Derek. He's a young 11, still playing with action figures which sets him apart from his peers. Derek's father is serving yet another tour as a helicopter pilot in Afghanistan and Derek misses him terribly. He has kept all the letters his father has sent and rereads them often. At school he struggles with a Draconian teacher, attentional and behavior issues, and the bullying of his former best friend, Budgie. His relationship with is Mom is good and she counsels him to be the bigger person with Budgie. Fleming realistically portrays Derek's struggle with anxiety and anger and captures the tween's sincere desire to be the person his parents want him to be. It's hardly surprising, though, that when he learns his father has been shot down and killed, that he explodes. Derek is a likable kid and readers will be drawn to him as he navigates fifth grade and the life he's been dealt.

  • SusanDunn
    2019-06-17 00:15

    I loved this book! Can't believe it's a first novel. Wow. 11-year-old Derek's dad has been off fighting in Afghanistan for most of Derek's life. His misses his dad a lot - the two write letters back and forth regularly. Derek's aren't always 100% truthful about how things are going at school however. In reality he has some behavior issues, and keeps on getting in trouble for losing his temper. And his former best friend has turned on him and now leads the class in picking on Derek. Derek struggles to be good, but it's hard. Especially when they get some bad news from the Army. All of the characters are so well drawn - great writing. There are some great sad parts too - I cried several times.

  • Maddy
    2019-06-02 03:01

    It was the best book ever!!

  • Diane
    2019-06-01 05:18

    Derek Lamb lives inside his head a lot of the time. He daydreams about being with his Dad on assignment in Afghanistan and flying his Apache helicopter. He is lost in thought so often that he does things like forget what day it is and goes to the bus stop on a Saturday. He often misses what's going on in class and suffers the consequences of that. Most of the kids in class think he's "weird", even his former best friend Budgie, who is now his number one tormentor. And Derek's instinct to find justice for himself often leads to further trouble. "If Mrs. Bailey hadn't spend so much time with her back to the classroom she would have seen all the stuff that went down - all the spitballs and ear flicks - but that wasn't the case. All she'd heard was the times I reacted. Because she was always facing the whiteboard, she missed all the times I did ignore them - all the times I hadn't done anything. She'd missed all the times I'd just sat there and taken it."But through everything, his Dad and Mom have been solid supporters of him. "You want a label for Derek? Awesome. There is is. That's your label." That is why when his father is recalled to Afghanistan after his tour was complete is so hard to take for Derek. But at least they can keep in touch through letters - 91 from his Dad so far. And there's new girl in class, Violet, who seems nice to Derek - they even volunteer to be in a play at the middle school. But the continual conflict with Budgie escalates. And then he sees his father's picture on TV and hears the words "missing", "body", and "dead." And suddenly Derek's life will never be the same.Derek is a strong-minded character, maintaining his individuality in when his peers demand conformity. He's barely aware of what others think of him, let alone does it affect his actions. "If people thought I was weird that was their problem." And he has a strong and loving support system. "You're not most people, Derek, and y'know what? I'm glad you're not most people. Sometimes it's better not to do what everyone else is doing." His new friendship with Violet turns him in a positive direction. The first person point of view puts us right inside Derek's head, helping us to see the thoughts and daydreams that keep him distracted. It makes for an interesting perspective.Themes: resilience, individuality, friendship, bullying

  • Nathalie R
    2019-06-01 04:58

    The Saturday BoyA David Fleming book called The Saturday Boy is about a kid named Derek. His dad is stationed over in Afghanistan while Derek has to deal with his so-called friend, Bugie. When Derek is having a hard time he goes and reads his comics that he once read when he was younger with his dad. His comic books never failed to cheer him up. They brought joy to him every time he read them. Not only does he read comic books but he reads his dad’s letters over and over again. He even remembers some of the paragraphs from the letters. One day his mom starts to change her mood and his Aunt Josie starts to sleep over his house more than usual. He is suspicious something’s going on that he doesn't know about. On top of all that he still doesn't understand his friendship with Bugie, you might say they have a bipolar friendship.People that would enjoy this book as much as I did would be anyone who like reading realistic fiction books. This book has 261 pages in all and this book was published in June 14,2013.I would rate this book 4 stars out of 5 stars. I would want to read another book of David Fleming because I enjoyed this book so much even though I don’t really read realistic fiction. Derek is the type of kid that is the troublemaker in class. Bugie is his friend that drifted away from Derek and then went against him. I think one of the theme’s for this book would be cherish what you have because it could be gone in a second. Try to be wiser than the other person you are having conflicts with. Be the older person. When I finished the book I was really surprised and confused that I liked this book because I normally don’t read realistic fiction books.I picked this book up because the title of the book looked really funny.

  • Augusta Scattergood
    2019-06-07 03:53

    Loved the story, the writing, the characters. A perfect, funny, touching story for boys. And we all know there just aren't enough of those.THE SATURDAY BOY has the whiz bam and superheros to keep them reading until they get hooked on the story. By the time they get to the parts that left me reading tearfully, they won't want to put the book down. But girls will also love this book. I predict they will nod in recognition about the idiotic things boys in Middle School dare to do.For my complete review, please visit my blog.

  • Ms.Patterson
    2019-05-25 04:01

    This is a beautiful amazing book. Timely subject matter, very well written and balanced storytelling. Boy's father is in Afghanistan, they write often, he's having problems with changing friendships at school. The kids I work with are pretty sensitive to 'inappropriate' things, and there's just a couple passages with language they would freak out about. They are a pretty naive bunch, and in many other places this would be more realistic to how kids talk to each other in 5th grade. My population is overly sweet in that regard.

  • Tara
    2019-06-04 01:54

    Kids will totally relate to the main character's struggles with his best friend/archenemy. Appreciated the completely original plot and unpredictability. The voice of the main character is the best. His descriptions are spot on for the age group and I would like to say it would be a great read-aloud, but not for me...I cried like a baby.

  • Ava Bladzik
    2019-05-26 04:16

    Very Awesome Book! I love how the main character Derek strikes as a normal average 10 year old and how the conflict he goes through relates to real life peoples conflict Very inspirational! Many Emotions that flow through the Story. I 100% Recommend it!

  • Kayla Smith
    2019-06-21 04:18

    I think that this is a really great book. It shows how a boy copes with being bullied by a kid who used to be his friend. The ending is sad, but shows how much Derek has matured since the beginning of the book.

  • Kristen
    2019-06-11 03:59

    This was a pleasant surprise--I knew very little about this one other than knowing it was recommended by Junior Library Guild and had very good reviews for a middle grade read. It has some really emotional scenes revolving around how friendship changes as kids approach middle school (particularly when some kids mature faster than others) and how families adjust during difficult times. (view spoiler)[It's always really emotional for me to read books where the narrator loses a father, and seeing Derek deal with his father's death was heartbreaking, particularly with all of the other things he's dealing with. He's such a likable character--I see him in so many of the students in my own school. (hide spoiler)]I loved Derek's relationship with his mom and aunt, and my heart broke for him as he struggled to find his place at school and deal with the absence of his father. Just a really well done middle grade read.

  • MaKenna Nostrom
    2019-06-22 04:14

    A couple things that happened in the book were the dad gets deployed. And the dad and Derek write notes back and forth to each other, and he is not always 100% truthful in his letters he makes everything sound all peachy good when he is really having problems and school because his used to be best friend starts teasing him. Then he gets to be in a play with another girl in his class (which he has a crush on) and starts to like school more. Then one day he was watching the news and saw his dad and his was saying that his dad's plane got shot down and he died. He was really sad and he then noticed why his mom had been so sad lately. His family had lots of struggles but they for sure made it though them.The character I chose was Derek because he did change a lot though out the story. At the beggining of the story he was a happy boy living a great live. Had lots of friends, he was happy, went to school. The one thing he was not happy about but had to live with was that his dad was deployed. But he was always happy. One day his best friend since kindergarten got mad at him. And he started to bully him he didn't know why it was happening at it made him super sad. And that is when he started to change. He was already sad then he saw the news that his dad died it made him super sad and had a really hard time dealing with it. So when it was time for his play he got mad and punched the kid that has been bullying him. Then after his dad's funeral his dad's friend that was in the army with him came over and brought him all the letters that his dad got from him. It made him happier and everything better. That is how Derek changed throughout the story.Now i'm going to tell you a couple things I liked about the story. One thing I loved is that it was a realistic fiction book. I also loved how Derek writes notes to his dad and we get to see and read what he is writing. I also loved that he was friends with a girl. One thing I disliked is that his dad died. But that's about all I disliked.

  • Amy
    2019-06-11 23:17

    Full disclosure-my husband was deployed for 15 months to Iraq leaving me with our two sons who were then 6 and 10. This had a profound effect on my kids, on our whole family, and I would love to read a book that captures that essence. So when I first heard of The Saturday Boy, I was intrigued and obviously brought a TON of baggage to the reading of it. However, when I found out that the father dies in the war, I didn't want to read it, I simply did not want to "go there". Long story short, I did end up reading it. I made the false assumption that this was a book about deployment; about how wrenching that can be whether the soldier makes it home or not. It really wasn't about that. It's a story about a young boy who has behavioral issues and is very immature for his age (11) and then you throw in his Dad's deployment. It is well written and you have a lot of sympathy for Derek but the mother was a maddening character and there is one scene where she fails to emotionally protect her son that outraged me. I don't think this book is very accessible to the age group it is targeting and the story gets muddled with Derek's behavioral issues and the Dad's deployment. I was disappointed in the book but some of that was due to my expectations going in.

  • Andy
    2019-06-10 06:00

    I chose this book for book club for this month. I thought it was current, about the war, involves a sense of coming if age, what could go wrong? Well, I think it works perfectly for middle school readers, and I'm thinking the kids who read it probably liked it, for the most part. There were some elements that were a little off the beaten path, and I found myself trying to diagnose the main character Derek, but I think I just accepted him as he is and went with it. The whole story about Derek's dad being in Afghanistan and his best buddy Budgie being a social ladder seeker compelled me as a reader. The story itself is mildly sad, but there is a lesson to be taken away. I do believe that kids who are different than the norm are bullied, and I truly believe that those actions need to stop, and while I think Derek's approach of being himself is the best way to go, the current generation of MS students don't have the wherewithal to stand their ground (in great numbers. There's always a few). I do hope for a world where bullying disappears and we can accept each other for who we are. The Saturday Boy does a good job of exploring that notion. Hopefully many people will read it and walk away with a similar feeling.

  • Liz Fothergill
    2019-06-24 03:05

    I adored this book, and the main character Derek Lamb. Contrary to what some other reviewers have said, I do think 11-12 year olds will relate to this story and the things Derek goes through. When do we stop believing in Santa, playing with toys, watching cartoons? Derek's character is well developed and David Fleming writes artfully in the first person creating a totally believable and lovable eleven year old. Mom, Aunt Josie, and Derek's "archenemy" Budgie are a great supporting cast. The character of Jason Lamb is developed skillfully through his letters and Derek's memories. Despite it's serious topics, there is a considerable amount of humor-"Budgie said that if you hiccup and laugh at the same time your lungs can come out your mouth." This book was chosen for the Vermont Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award list for 2014-15 and I believe it will be a popular title.

  • Miriam
    2019-05-29 06:19

    In some ways Derek is less mature than the other fifth graders in his class. He is still fascinated by superheroes and imaginative play and his poor impulse control lands him in one scrape after another, especially when he's goaded into retaliating against his one-time best friend turned nemesis. But Derek has a tender heart and a true sense of right and wrong. He longs for his father who's an Apache helicopter pilot serving in Afghanistan. He has a loving relationship with his mom and his Aunt Jo, so home is pretty much a refuge from the difficulties of school life. Until his dad's copter is shot down...Touching, timely and filled with humor, this book made me laugh through my tears.

  • Casey O
    2019-06-21 03:54

    The Saturday Boy by David Fleming is a book about a kid in grade five named Derek who's dad gets sent out to war. When his dad dies it becomes on the news, and his friends at school and teachers start treating him different. Derek is getting angry at all the kids at school and it doesn't appear to be stopping.I enjoyed this book because it had two problems his missing dad and his problems at school. When his dad gets killed it effects how Derek acts at school. Derek's so called best friend Budgie is acting strange and mean. another good thing about this is that the author had a lot of creative ideas, and It felt like I had no idea what is going to happen next so it was all a surprise.

  • Mrs. Strudthoff
    2019-05-30 03:52

    Derek longs for his dad to return from the war. To make him feel closer to his dad, Derek keeps a model of an Apache helicopter above his bed, and dreams of when he and his dad can fly the Apaches together.Not only does Derek miss his father, he also misses his best friend Budgie. Budgie isn't gone, but Budgie isn't the same kid that created fantasy worlds with Derek. Budgie hangs with the bullies in school, the ones who make Derek's life miserable.Derek finds some creative ways to get back at Budgie, and they will keep you laughing.

  • Geneva
    2019-06-16 02:09

    Rarely does a book for children move me to tears. This one did. The author told it like it was and, while written for children it spoke to adults as well. The price of war, the awkward stage of transitioning from elementary school to junior high, friendships growing apart - all of it told so poignantly and beautifully that you almost don't want the book to end. You want to keep finding out what is happening and will happen in Derek's life.

  • Lucas Barton
    2019-06-04 00:59

    The book The Saturday Boy is a book about a young boy who has a dad that is in the military. This book talks about the boys life and all the teasing and bullying he gets. The boy overcomes many problems and eventually a family death. This book was great and I will read it again. I would recommend this to anyone because there is no negative part of it.

  • Lessa
    2019-06-21 02:57

    Rarely do books make me cry, but this one did multiple times. The story of a boy who is bullied, who is missing his father who is in Afghanistan, and who just wants to be understood. Derek will pull at your heartstrings and make you really sympathize will all children who suffer from bullies just for being a little different.

  • Lelia
    2019-06-09 05:12

    Great story about an eleven year old boy named Derek who has a very special relationship with his father. Even though Derek's dad is serving in Afghanistan they stay close through letter writing and daydreaming, but Derek still finds himself waiting for the letter of his dreams...the letter saying his dad is coming home.

  • Julia Wilson
    2019-06-19 02:57

    For 11-year-old Derek, school is a challenge. His best friend has turned into a bully and some days it's all he can do to keep out of trouble. His dad is back in Afghanistan flying apache helicopters and his mom is working hard as a nurse. This mid-grade novel is tender and funny as Derek learns that sometimes life can be awful but you can find a way to get through it.

  • Scott
    2019-06-13 03:19

    Derek is trying to fit into a world where things seem a bit off. His dad is away at war, his best friend is behaving differently, things just don’t seem to be as they should. True to life situations and emotions are well expressed.

  • Diana
    2019-05-28 06:02

    Wow! This was a special book. I laughed, I cried, I loved the characters and storyline. I think the dialogue was perfect and I'm very curious if my middle school boys and girls will like it as much as I did. It is his first novel-amazing.

  • Paula Stock
    2019-06-06 02:12

    This is a very realistic story of Derek, whose dad is in Afghanistan. It made me laugh and cry, and it helped me to understand the feeling of a boy trapped between youth and growing up. Definitely a good book for middle school readers.

  • Janet
    2019-05-30 00:03

    Loved this book--what a great surprise by a new author. Funny and bittersweet. The characters are quirky, but still believable--not always easy to do. Great middle-grade read!