Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Bird in a Box

Bird in a Box
by Andrea Davis Pinkney
Little Brown, 2011, 278 pgs. Historical Fiction

This is a historical fiction about three kids, Hibernia, Willie, and Otis, who live in Depression Era New York State. All them them have dreams: Hibernia wants to be a Jazz singer, Willie want to be a famous boxer, and Otis just wants to be with his family. All of them are dealing with issues at home that stand in the way of their dreams. Although the three children don't have much in common, they all like to listen to the Joe Louis fights on the radio and that is what brings them together. There is not a whole lot of plot to the book, but Pinkney makes the children's voices so real, interesting and sympathetic, the reader can't help but be transported through time and space to that difficult period in America's history. Even though the children are black and living in a primarily black community, the book is not about overcoming racism. It is just a glance into the life of some kids who develop a friendship and learn to face their challenges with courage.

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