Author: Stark-McGinnis, Sandy
Eleven-year-old December waits to sprout wings and fly away, until a new foster mother changes her perspective on home and family.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.50
Points: 7.0 Quiz: 504139
Kirkus Reviews (03/01/19)
School Library Journal (+) (04/01/19)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/04/19)
The Hornbook (00/05/19)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 04/01/2019 Gr 4–6—Eleven-year-old December not only knows everything about birds, she's convinced she is one. As December, whose mother left her as a young child, moves between a series of foster homes, she's waiting for the moment when her "wings will finally unfold" and she is strong enough to take flight. But when she arrives at her newest foster home and meets Eleanor, things begin to change. Eleanor has bird feeders and volunteers at the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. She is also patient and kind, giving December the space and time she needs to build trust. Among her many acts of gentle support, Eleanor introduces December to Henrietta, a red-tailed hawk who, like December, is recovering from trauma and needs encouragement to fly. Despite her reluctance to hope for a real home, December finds herself wondering if living with Eleanor could be permanent. Of course, that would mean abandoning her dream of flight and December wrestles between her pull skyward and the emotional and tangible comforts of life on the ground. At school, she befriends a trans girl named Cheryllynn. When a group of girls December refers to as "the Vultures" cruelly mock Cheryllynn, December stands by her new friend who is, like December, experiencing transformation. Throughout it all, December holds on tight to the one gift she has from her mother, a book called The Complete Guide to Birds Vol. 1, but painful memories of her mother slowly emerge, allowing December to embrace her rich new life. VERDICT A heartbreaking and hopeful story about a young girl who learns the power of kindness and the beauty of belonging.—Shelley Sommer, Inly School, Scituate, MA - Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.