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Month in review

Reviews
Bera the One-Headed Troll by Eric Orchard
Blackbird Fly by Erin Entrada Kelly
Blue Highways by William Least Heat-Moon
Borrowed Crime by Laurie Cass
Dark Days by James Ponti
Death at Victoria Dock by Kerry Greenwood
The Detective's Assistant by Kate Hannigan
Doctor Who: The Roots of Evil by Philip Reeve
The Flying Beaver Brothers and the Crazy Critter Race by Maxwell Eaton III
For Today I Am a Boy by Kim Fu
Fred and Ted's Road Trip by Peter Eastman
Free Fall by David Wiesner
The Geek Feminist Revolution by Kameron Hurley
Ghostbusters: Get Real by Erik Burnham
Gone Crazy in Alabama by Rita Williams-Garcia
Hip Hop Family Tree, Vol. 3: 1983-1984 by Ed Piskor
The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
Lowriders to the Center of the Earth by Cathy Camper
The Master of Jalna by Mazo de la Roche
Murder on the Ballarat Train by Kerry Greenwood
Nothing Up My Sleeve by Diana López
Pete the Cat and His Magic Sunglasses by Kimberly and James Dean
The Pharos Gate by Nick Bantock
Retribution Falls by Chris Wooding
The River by Alessandro Sanna
Six Kids and a Stuffed Cat by Gary Paulsen
The Sleepover by Jen Malone
Threadbare by Monica Ferris
To Catch a Cheat by Varian Johnson
Underground Airlines by Ben H. Winters

Miscellaneous
Diversity report for September 2016

Previous month

Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8



Blackbird Fly: 09/07/16

Blackbird Fly by Erin Entrada Kelly

Blackbird Fly by Erin Entrada Kelly is about a middle school girl trying to find her place when she's bullied at school and coddled at home. Apple and her mother live in Louisiana, having moved there from the Philippines when she was little.

Apple feels American but her mother wants her to keep her culture. The bullies in her school, though, toss every Asian stereotype on her, including calling her a dog eater. On top of that, they've put her on the Dog Log, a list of ugly girls at the school.

Apple's solace in all that is her father's music, an old tape of the Beatles. She desperately wants a guitar and she desperately wants to learn how to play their music. If I weren't a parent, I'd find this part of the book unbelievable. Except I know through my own children (including my daughter who is also learning how to play their songs) that among the youngest end of the millennials, the Beatles are incredibly popular.

The bullying feels raw and real, though the Dog Log is something I'd expect from high school. Middle school with only two grades has so much turn over there's not time for something like that list to gain such a hold that incoming students would dread it.

Four stars

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