Hello everyone, this week’s post is about a book I found quite interesting and made me think of one’s identity. The story is about one young Filipino girl and her relationship with her mother. Although it’s set in small town America, the flavors of the Philippines is quite strong. So, if you want to read a story with a difference, try this one.
Title: Blackbird Fly
Author: Erin Entrada Kelly
Genre: Fiction – contemporary
Publication details: Greenwillow Books; NY, 2015
What this book is about: Twelve-year-old Apple Yengko believes that there are at least three interesting facts about every person on Earth. Unfortunately, her three facts make her an outcast in Chapel Spring Middle School in Chapel Spring, Louisiana. When Apple is voted the third-ugliest girl in school, her life quickly falls apart. The boys bark at her in the halls and a rumour spreads that she eats dogs for dinner. Music is her only escape. All she needs is enough money to buy a guitar, and then she’ll be able to change herself and her life forever. It might be the Beatles and their music who save Apple, or Mr Z (Chapel Springs Middle’s awesome music teacher) – or it could be two unexpected friends who show her that standing out in a crowd is better than getting lost in it.
My review: What an inspiring story!! Focusing on themes of belonging, identity, friendship and family, Blackbird Fly is a delightful middle-grade novel about one young Filipino girl and her journey in finding herself. I really enjoyed this story as I could sort of relate in a way. I found myself cheering Apple on as the chapters turned and was quite emotional at the end of it. Erin Entrada Kelly was one of the first diverse authors I’d read and will be an interesting one to look out for! I can’t wait to see what others she writes!!
My rating: 4 ⭐
Additional notes: This title has earned the author quite a few accolades in the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature for Children’s Honor in 2015, Best Children’s Books of the Year (Bank Street College of Education), the SCBWI Golden Kite Award plus a few more.