To Keep or Not: Flight #116 is Down, Flash Fire and Emergency Room by Caroline B Cooney

to keep or not

When I moved a couple of years ago, I was’t very organized. I have boxes of books I haven’t been able to part with yet. But now I’m trying to get rid of things I don’t need and grow out of my pack rat ways. So, I’m going to reread some of the books that were boxed and decide if I should keep them or not!


These three books are all actually my sister’s. She might have given them to me at some point, but I plan on asking her if she wants them back. I still wanted to reread them before I do though.

note: I’m having some spacing and formatting issues with this post, so I apologize if anything is off!

Flight #116 is Down

208 pages | July 1st 1997 } Scholastic Paperbacks | Goodreads summary: An award-winning dramatic thriller finds a young girl confronting her fears and making heroic efforts at the terrifying scene of a crashed 747.

What I remembered before I reread: set in the Northeast, where I first learned about triage, small town and small volunteer emergency response, teen volunteers, rich teen home alone that helps with the crash, unaccompanied kids on the plane

Reread thoughts:
Heidi and Patrick are teens in a small New York town. Heidi lives in a
mansion and a plain crashes in her rose garden. Patrick is a trained EMT
because Nearing River adults usually work out of town. The story is told in
so many POVs, it’s a little overwhelming. The reader hears from several plane
passengers, several rescuers, and family members at the airport. This is
obviously to show you the effects it has on a wide range of people, but it’s
messy. If there were less points of view, you could get to know the
characters better. Some characters are only around for a single time and you
never hear what happens to them.

I did enjoy the book, although I’m sure some of it was nostalgia. I cared
about whether characters lived or died and I enjoyed Heidi and Patrick. Heidi
wasn’t very confident but she was helpful and strong in the midst of
disaster. She helped saved lives and the experience changed her life. The
bonding between Heidi and Patrick was entertaining, and the possibility of
more was fun.

I did enjoy rereading this, but even if I wasn’t planning on returning it to
my sister I don’t think I’d want to read it again. So, not a keeper.

Flash Fire

208 pages | September 1st 1996 | Scholastic Paperbacks | Goodreads Description: On a Wednesday afternoon, 15-year-old Danna Press’s life turns into a nightmare as a huge orange fireball emerges from the top of the canyon. So begins her long, terrifying, and life-altering road to safety.
What I remembered: California, rich neighborhood, one of the first books I read that involved a gay person or someone with AIDS
Reread thoughts:
I think this book has even more POVs than #116. And even more that appear
only once. This story is about a flash fire (duh) in a wealthy LA community. They expected Pinch Canyon to be completely safe. They were unconcerned, even when they knew the fires were getting closer.
The story mainly follows children of the community that have to escape. It also shines light on their wealthy, snotty, and sometimes horrible parents. There are also looters and I think one of my favorite moments of the book was when the police stopped the looters. There isn’t much depth to the characters because of how many there are, which makes it difficult to connect with any of them. I wanted them all to survive but I wasn’t attached to any of them.
I didn’t enjoy rereading this as much as Flight #116 is Down. I wouldn’t keep it.


213 pages | Published July 1st 1997 | Scholastic Paperbacks | Goodreads description: Packed with suspense and edge-of-the-seat excitement, this gripping drama takes readers hour-by-hour to the heart of a city hospital and the war zone called the Emergency Room as seen through the eyes of two teenage volunteers.
 What I remembered: city hospital, college volunteers, hostage situation, druggie mom that tries to eat cellophane, drug baby, antagonistic relationship turns to romance, motorcycle crash, gang violence
Reread thoughts:

Emergency Room is the story of a few hours in a city Emergency Room. It
mainly follows college volunteers Diana and Seth. They’re both freshmen but
plan on being doctors and want to learn everything they can. They’re aching
for exitement. This book also has numerous POVs, including patients and
people in the waiting room. Some of which are just there to enjoy the air
conditioning on a hot day.

The book covers gunshot wounds, a brutal motorcycle wreck, and other, less
serious inflictions. There are gang members in the waiting room that cause a
big scene. There’s a drug addict mother (who tries to eat a saltine cracker
wrapper) and her barely alive baby. Diana and Seth learn a bit and
expereience intense ER situations. They also learn about each other and
despite antagonizing each other end up in a romantic direction.

This book was quick and it passed time, but I wouldn’t keep it either.

So all three of these Caroline B Cooney books won’t be kept. But it was fun to revisit them and remember how much I liked them when I was younger. I think these type of books might be better for reluctant readers not ready to commit to a deep/heavy story. But I, like most readers, prefer more development.

Comments are greatly appreciated and I try to reply to each one! I'm no longer accepting awards, but I appreciate the thought!

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