Parent reviews for Whirligig

Common Sense says

A car crash ends one life and begins another.
Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 8 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 22 reviews
Parent of a 9, 14, and 17-year-old Written byHallofcats May 17, 2016


I signed up just to warn parents about this book as it is being assigned in schools for reading without parents knowing the content and messages. Only because my son is on homework restrictions due to a concussion am I aware that the book was assigned. I am not one to coddle my kids but seriously you can't have young adolescents reading a book about so many people with suicidal thoughts with a message that Hey if you kill someone else instead, you get out of jail and get to go on an adventure on your own through the country. REALLY! Not only that but it is some of the worst writing I have ever seen. Prize winner maybe but not for this! Sometimes "literature" is assumed to be good because of who wrote it and not for itself. AND TEACHERS - think twice about assigning this book especially if you are not willing to deal with the unintentional emotional consequences it can create in young adolescents that may be having suicidal thoughts. It is not a feel good book and has no redeeming qualities what so ever. As I told his teacher no wind blown toy is going to fix a child who feels like the end of life is better than getting up the next day, some may think he was callus for his reasons to die but to kids like Brent I am sure they were real and this book does not validate that and should.
Adult Written bydrubie19 September 6, 2018

good book not sure if its totally appropriate

this book was pretty good but there was talk of sexual harassment and also a kid is underage drinking and tries to kill himself. There is also a small amount of cursing.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adult Written byTeacherofgifted April 25, 2012

Great book they will read!

Of all the short contemporary novels I've come across in tutoring bright teens, this is one of the best. Kids will READ the book--both boys and girls. It has an unusual plot that works, and there is great wisdom in the book plus many interesting characters. While it is not a classic, it has many of the elements of great literature. It's also easy to read!
Adult Written bythompjav000 November 20, 2010


This was a very good book.

This title contains:

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Positive Messages
Adult Written bysyllable October 26, 2010

Great book for reluctant readers

It is a warm, coming of age tale of taking responsibility, forgiveness, grace, and redemption.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written byaircello11 November 9, 2009

Worst book ever. Only for bookworms

Adult Written byjordan28382 April 9, 2008

Loved it...

I loved this book. I actually got assigned a project to do on this book and fell in love. It made me not have so much fury against drunk drivers. Yes, the main character in the story (Brent) kills someone. But, it's so much deeper than that. He has so much mental pain it's crazy. The mental punishment that he goes through is enough to last 10 life times. Then the trip he goes on as retribution towards the girls parents is inspirational and makes me want to go out to explpore the world. I would definately recomend this book for any 8th-12th graders. Otherwise it loses it's moral impression. LOVED IT!
Adult Written byselliott19 April 9, 2008
this book was the worst book ive ever read it was stupid not intresting. the chapters were a bit confusing jumping from a differnt person then back to the main chater. the book didnt talk about the person who died that mush to feel like that brent did somthing bad. the charters in the book werent insting atall they didnt want you to know more about them and when you start reading it you wonder about other things that they talked only for a second then jump to something else that they never talked about and then jump to something else.