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The Impacts of Mistakes Made in Whirligig, by Paul Fleischman

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Mistakes can seriously impact the people who make them; however, the effects are not always negative. In the book, Whirligig, by Paul Fleischman, a teenage boy named Brent is the new kid in town and he faces some major problems with his peers. After being pushed around, treated like a pawn, and utterly rejected, Brent tries to commit suicide by taking his hands off the wheel of his moving car. Although Brent’s attempt is not successful, his actions still have a tragic ending- Lea, a young, kind, beautiful girl, is unlucky enough to be in the car that Brent crashes into. The car accident results in Lea’s death, but also the start of Brent’s magical journey of redemption. Brent’s task is to travel to the four corners of the country, build…show more content…
Brent and Emil’s relationship is so strong that Brent is willing to put his entire journey on hold so that he can spend time with Emil, despite the fact that he and Emil are almost total opposites when it comes to sociability. Something else that makes Emil and Brent different from one another is their various likes and interests. Emil will soon be studying Biology in college, and when the two boys visit the zoo, Emil takes much pleasure in informing Brent about every animal they meet. However, Brent is more interested in other things such as woodwork, like his whirligigs, and music, like his harmonica. Yet, these variances do not stand in the way of the friendship at all. This is clearly displayed when “They [Emil and Brent] ...spent two hours in the natural history museum. Brent had never known anyone his age who went to museums voluntarily. He was strictly Emil’s sidekick” (71). Although Brent is not a fan of museums at all, he still stands faithfully by Emil’s side the entire time, proving that two people do not need to be exactly alike in order to be friends. However, Paul Fleischman does not just emphasize that personality type doesn’t matter in a friendship; the author also portrays that race isn’t important when it comes to forming relationships.

In another part of Brent’s journey, Brent meets and interacts with seven or eight young African-American children who, in time, create a powerful
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