Thursday, February 11, 2021

Feathers and Fur

Between snow days the last two Tuesdays, remote learning, holidays off, and everything else, it's hard to keep track of everything and get scheduled classes into the library. I wore jeans to school two days this week (we were only in three!), so you know it's bad. 

On the bright side, Gen Z has decided that skinny jeans are evil. I could have told you that, sweetie. Any pants that require you to put on your socks FIRST are not a good idea. Could have told you that! 

Other than feeling compelled to stock up on straight leg jeans, I have to say-- don't really care. I still have a lifetime supply of long pleated skirts and wool blazers. Wouldn't mind if Lands End brought back turtlenecks with sleeve cuffs, but I'm good!

Lorentz, Dayna. Of a Feather
February 9th 2021 by HMH Books for Young Readers
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

Reenie has been living with her grandmother, but when her grandmother's boyfriend becomes problematic, she is relocated by her case worker Randi to her great aunt Beatrice's house. This is awkward for both of them, but Beatrice is somewhat interesting: she works at a veterinary practice and rehabilitates birds. She has a hawk, Red, and soon an injured owl, Rufus joins the group. Rufus is young, and some of the chapters are from his perspective. Reenie finds it difficult to fit in at school, since she doesn't believe in having friends. When she was younger, having friends over is what alerted social services to the poor state in which her mother kept her. Jamie seems nice, but "probably lives in a mansion" and wouldn't understand Reenie's situation. Jaxon spends recess quietly reading or whittling, and seems nice as well. Eventually, Reenie warms to the two of them, and they work on a school project together. Reenie becomes very attached to Rufus, even though she knows that the goal is to rehabilitate the bird and send him back to the wild. She also becomes attached to Beatrice and the quiet satisfaction of a stable life with someone to take care of her. She has visitations with her mother, who suffers from severe depression. Her mother eventually improves, and starts to plan on having Reenie live with her again. Will Rufus and Reenie be able to decide what environment suits them best?
Strengths: There are a lot of students in foster care; we have a handful every year at my school, so I would like all of my students to read books that include characters in a variety of foster care situations. This was a sympathetic portrayal, and the author's work in the field definitely adds a layer of verisimilitude to the story. The details about helping birds are interesting, and Reenie's struggle to let people be friends with her is very accurately portrayed. The fact that Tui Sutherland has blurbed this will be a big selling point, since she has lots of fans in my library. This would be good paired with Bow's Stand on the Sky  or Wymer's Soar .
Weaknesses: I'm never a fan of talking animals, but Rufus' chapters are pretty funny. 
What I really think: I liked this a lot better than Stark-McGinnis's Extraordinary Birds, but not as well as Farr, Bridget. Pavi Sharma's Guide to Going Home Galante's Strays Like Us or Bauer's Raising Lumie. In an ordinary year, I would definitely buy a copy, but with the huge pandemic loses, I may not be able to afford to. Dogs books are very popular with my students, and the books about birding I have purchased have not done quite as well.

No comments:

Post a Comment