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Month in review

Reviews
Beast & Crown by Joel Ross
Beyond the Bright Sea by Lauren Wolk
Boundless by Jillian Tamaki
Carrying Albert Home by Homer Hickam
CatStronauts: Space Station Situation by Drew Brockington
Demon, Volume 4 by Jason Shiga
Feathertop by Robert D. San Souci
14 Hollow Road by Jenn Bishop
From Ant to Eagle by Alex Lyttle
The Great Shelby Holmes Meets Her Match by Elizabeth Eulberg
Hear the Wolves by Victoria Scott
Lights, Camera, Middle School! by Jennifer L. Holm
The Looney Experiment by Luke Reynolds
The Losers Club by Andrew Clements
The Lost Kingdom of Bamarre by Gail Carson Levine Lucky Broken Girl by Ruth Behar
Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess by Shari Green
Murder on the Half Shelf by Lorna Barrett
One Last Word: Wisdom from the Harlem Renaissance by Nikki Grimes
One Mixed-Up Night by Catherine Newman
Ordinary Mishaps and Inevitable Catastrophes by Booki Vivat
Orphan Island by Laurel Snyder
Paper Girls Volume 3 by Brian K. Vaughan
Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson
Red Leech by Andrew Lane
Refugee by Alan Gratz
Ripped From the Pages by Kate Carlisle
The Scarebird by Sid Fleischman and Peter Sís
See You in the Cosmos by Jack Cheng
Walking with Miss Millie by Tamara Bundy
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Portfolio 25 by Rosamund Kidman Cox

Miscellaneous
2017 books read and reviewed
Back Half round-up: Favorite books read and reviewed from July-December 2017 Canadian Books reviewed in 2017
Diverse Books Reviewed in 2017
First Book of the Year Graphic Novels Reviewed in 2017
It's Monday, What Are You Reading (December 04)
It's Monday, What Are You Reading (December 11)
It's Monday, What Are You Reading (December 18)
It's Monday, What Are You Reading (December 25)
Mysteries reviewed in 2017
Road Narrative Summary
November 2017 sources
November 2017 summary

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


The Scarebird: 12/29/17

The Scarebird by Sid Fleischman

The Scarebird by Sid Fleischman and illustrated by Peter Sís is a cautionary tale of life alone on the farm. A man who has chosen to keep to himself finds himself in need of a scarecrow — or a scarebird — as he calls it.

He sets about making one from his old clothes. As time progresses and the weather changes, he gives more an more of his old clothing to his scarebird to protect it form the elements. He takes to talking to it, as if the thing were the friend he never had or never wanted.

Everything changes when a young man appears at his door, bedraggled and in need of a place to stay. He seems to own nothing more than the old clothes on his back. It is at this point that the old farmer is faced with a decision — does he help the flesh and blood stranger, by reclaiming, re-gifting the clothes of the scarebird, or does he send him on his way?

In this regard, the Scarebird is thematically similar to the climax of Cherry 2000. A man who has developed feelings for a nonliving, anthropomorphic form, is forced to pick between the thing he loves and a person who needs his help. In both cases, they pick the person: here a young man, and there the woman who he has hired as his tracker.

So although this story contains a scarecrow, it doesn't fall into the crossing the cornfield dichotomy. There is no sense of imprisonment, nor does is scarebird ever a potential authority figure. Instead, this story is more a "road not taken" made up of the rural and mankind (or in this case, man on his own).

Three stars

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