“Screams. Crash. Impact. Bounce. Slide. Slide. Slide. Silence. Smoke. So much smoke. Fuel. Screams. Heat. Flickering light.” Living in a world without a voice while searching for his Uncle’s flag is easier said than done. Karen Harrington created a story, Mayday, about a teenage boy, Wayne Kovok, who survived a plane crash that stole his voice.
On the way home from his Uncle’s funeral, the plane lost control and headed into a nosedive. Wayne, and his mother survived the plane crash, but it came as a cost. Wayne’s mother broke her arm and Wayne had lost his voice. He started as a kid who talked non stop, but Wayne could not use his voice, which was very difficult for him. Before the incident, Wayne filled up the awkward silence in conversations with random facts. Talking to his peers sometimes consisted of awkward silences, so he spurted out random facts to start a conversation, such as “Did you know that chickens can run up to nine miles an hour?” (Chpt 2 pg 14) Whenever he has a question about something, he looks up the answers on the internet. The next time he is on that topic again, he will spill a new fact. This helped him become a smart and talented kid.
The military ran strong in his family, and when he lost his Uncle’s burial flag during the crash, he knew he needed to recover it. His grandfather was once an army sergeant, and he treated Wayne like a soldier, “Keep it down in there, soldier!” (Chpt 23 pg 229) Life was very challenging and different for him without a voice, so Wayne went to a voice doctor. There, he met another boy named Denny Rosenblatt, who also had a voice problem, and they became best friends. Denny helped Wayne keep his confidence up and help Wayne try to find the flag. After an unexpected occurrence, Wayne tried very hard to find the flag, keeping data pages, writing emails to professionals, and even going out himself to search. One of the many character traits Wayne had was perseverance. He stuck with his plan, even through ups and downs. I really enjoyed the way Karen Harrington kept me reading and interested me in every sentence I read.
The writing style that Harrington used was in Wayne’s perspective and it really played a big part in the format of the book. I really enjoyed how she structured the book to make it easy to read and understandable. Each chapter picked up where the last one ended, which made it easier to understand what was happening. Some books start a new chapter completely different than the prior chapter. This book has 340 pages, but I read it very quickly. I am usually a slow reader, but I really enjoyed this book which encouraged me read it faster. The action in the story made me want to keep reading. I recommend this book to sixth graders and up because it has some upsetting parts to it. Grades younger than sixth might become confused while reading this book. This book really caught my attention and kept me interested and hopefully it will for you too.