Friday, February 14, 2020

Birdie and Me

Happy Valentine's Day! That means that the CYBILS AWARDS are going to be announced. Head right over to to see the winners!

I'll be out of the loop until Tuesday morning, so won't be tweeting, etc. about it.

Nuanez, J.M.M. Birdie and Me
February 18th 2020 by Kathy Dawson Books/Penguin Young
E ARC provided by Young Adult Books Central

Jack and her younger brother Birdie have not had an easy time lately. Their mother was killed in a car accident, and their neighbor, Mrs. Spater, watched them until their uncle arrived, but was too old to take care of them. They have to move several hours away, and their uncle Carl has some problems taking care of them. Birdie, who has a fondness for gender nonconforming clothing, has run into trouble with his classmates, both children have missed a lot of school, and Carl feeds them mainly fast food and convenience store snacks. They end up having to go live with their Uncle Patrick, who is not as understanding of their needs. He feeds them healthier food, they have their own rooms, and he tries to check in with them frequently when he has to work, but he also makes Birdie wear clothes that are much more sober in color and design. Early on, Jack and Birdie decide they will return to their former home, and get part way there on a bus. They get off at a break and miss the bus, but luckily Patrick shows up to take them home. Jack's friend Janet is supportive of both of them, but her mother's boyfriend is the father of one of Birdie's chief tormentors. Carl has a girlfriend who runs a local food truck, and the children encourage her to ask her to marry him, but this does not go smoothly after a disaster with her truck. Patrick isn't quite sure how to best help the children, but tries hard. Will Jack and Birdie be able to find a way to make a life for themselves under their new circumstances?
Strengths: The characters in the book are very interesting. Janet is worldly-wise, Jack is sad but supportive, the uncles try their best, and Birdie has no guidance for how to process his feelings of being different. Janet is the most helpful with his concerns, since the uncles don't seem to have a good handle on their own lives. The small town, tight-knit setting is interesting, as is the food truck.
Weaknesses: The teachers at the school seem very unhelpful, which is sad.
What I really think: The cover is not very appealing, and the book is long, so it would take a bit of convincing to get my students to read it. It's also the sort of book that, while interesting, doesn't have a whole let that happens. Debating.
Ms. Yingling

No comments:

Post a Comment