Flight #116 Is Down!

Book review by
Monica Wyatt, Common Sense Media
Flight #116 Is Down! Book Poster Image
Popular with kids
Hardly a classic, but still a riveting adventure.

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 14 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.


Several references to victims burning to death; horrible wounds. High emotional intensity, as readers wonder who will live.


One mild expletive.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this book is intense -- some characters die, and there are gruesome injuries -- but it may be a good choice for reluctant readers. An impossible-to-put-down story, it makes no claim to being great literature, but realistic excitement directed straight at teens keeps them reading. This book may inspire readers to learn about emergency care.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bysamreadsbooks March 4, 2016

One of my favorites

I first read this book in middle school and I still love it. It's impossible to put down, realistic, and with really compelling characters. I strongly reco... Continue reading
Adult Written bywefrwegtwer May 24, 2012
Teen, 15 years old Written byA_ProRater October 23, 2019

Age should be 13

I think this book should be 13 and above because of its violence. kids might have nightmares, but the book was great.
Teen, 17 years old Written bylaylay143 April 4, 2014

Umm, Okay

Well there are characters who die and in the begining of the book it does have the word sex in it so its really not for 11 and under

What's the story?

Heidi is sixteen, living on a huge estate. She can't get better than C's, can't make many friends, and doesn't think much of herself. Patrick is seventeen, from a working family, and lives to be a volunteer emergency worker.

While Heidi's parents are away, a 747 crashes into her estate. She makes her uncertain way toward the passengers, leaving her insecurities behind, simply to act. Patrick arrives first to wade through the carnage, while Darienne, a passenger, walks away unhurt.

Hundreds of workers arrive and the book follows several of them, always focusing on the three teenagers: Heidi, Patrick, and the beautiful but incredibly selfish Darienne.

Daniel, a fifteen-year old trapped in the wreckage, feels his anger toward his parents dissolve as he wonders if he'll walk again, or even live. But everyone forgets little five-year-old Teddie. Will she survive? Heidi and Patrick find unknown strengths within themselves as the suspense blazes forward.

Is it any good?

An entertaining melodrama, this adventure novel is a good choice for reluctant readers. It doesn't have much literary merit, but it is terrific entertainment with a good message. The characters must all let go of some ingrained ideas they have about themselves, and in giving up these falsehoods, they mature. The story features both male and female leading characters, so both boys and girls will be able to identify with at least one of them and imagine themselves stumbling through the wet forest, frantically trying to save injured passengers.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the characters in the story. How do the backgrounds of the characters affect how they respond to this emergency? How do you think you would respond?

Book details

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