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Blackbird Fly Paperback – 1 March 2016
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“Will resonate with any student in middle school who has felt different and ostracized. The author has skillfully captured the various characters that populate Apple’s . . . school.” -- School Library Journal (starred review)
“[A] delightful debut . . . What sets Kelly’s book apart is the combination of a quirky narrator and details about living in a first-generation Filipino American household. . . . Through her love of music . . . Apple starts to soar like the eponymous blackbird of her favorite Beatles song.” -- Los Angeles Times Book Review
“A smart, sensitive, and resilient heroine who is authentic and relatable in her strengths and imperfections. This poignant novel would make for a particularly fine readaloud; expect visceral reactions . . . This is a must-read for those kids cringing at their own identities.” -- Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“Writing with acute sensitivity and sometimes painful realism, debut novelist Kelly skillfully captures the betrayals, tentative first crushes, and fluctuating emotions of middle school ... a true triumph.” -- Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Kelly skillfully weaves together the story of misfit Apple, her love of music, and a budding romance with a new boy at school, while never losing focus on the central issue of what it is like to be the ‘other.’” -- Booklist
About the Author
New York Times–bestselling author Erin Entrada Kelly was awarded the Newbery Medal for Hello, Universe and a Newbery Honor for We Dream of Space. She grew up in Lake Charles, Louisiana, and now lives in Delaware. She is a professor of children’s literature in the graduate fiction and publishing programs at Rosemont College, where she earned her MFA, and is on the faculty at Hamline University. Her short fiction has been nominated for the Philippines Free Press Literary Award for Short Fiction and the Pushcart Prize. Erin Entrada Kelly’s debut novel, Blackbird Fly, was a Kirkus Best Book, a School Library Journal Best Book, an ALSC Notable Book, and an Asian/Pacific American Literature Honor Book. She is also the author of The Land of Forgotten Girls, winner of the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature; You Go First, a Spring 2018 Indie Next Pick; Lalani of the Distant Sea, an Indie Next Pick; and Maybe Maybe Marisol Rainey, which she also illustrated. The author’s mother was the first in her family to immigrate to the United States from the Philippines, and she now lives in Cebu.
- Publisher : Greenwillow Books; Reprint edition (1 March 2016)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 320 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0062238620
- ISBN-13 : 978-0062238627
- Reading age : 8 - 12 years
- Item Weight : 209 g
- Dimensions : 2.29 x 12.95 x 19.05 cm
- Country of Origin : United Kingdom
- Best Sellers Rank: #78,652 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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What I didn't like were the supporting characters who, like Apple (the main character), are bullied at school. Or I liked them individually, but didn't buy into their grouping. Apple teams up with an unconventional boy and an obese girl--both of whom are targets for the bullies. Together they create their own little circle. It read like a cynical marketing grab aimed at Generation Z school diversity programs. I wish it didn't, but that was my take. It was too easy to group them together and none of them have anything quirks that make the friendships difficult. I also had a hard time believing that Apple would be called the various racist phrases given the current anti-bullying culture at school. It's certainly possible and I'm sure some readers can vouch for that, but kids who do this are usually ostracized pretty quickly, at least in my neck of the woods.