Blackbird Fly

Blackbird Fly

eBook - 2015
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Future rock star or friendless misfit? That's no choice at all. In this acclaimed novel by Newbery Medalist Erin Entrada Kelly, twelve-year-old Apple grapples with being different; with friends and backstabbers; and with following her dreams.

Publishers Weekly called Blackbird Fly "a true triumph," and the Los Angeles Times Book Review said, "Apple soars like the eponymous blackbird of her favorite Beatles song."

Apple has always felt a little different from her classmates. She and her mother moved to Louisiana from the Philippines when she was little, and her mother still cooks Filipino foods and chastises Apple for becoming "too American." When Apple's friends turn on her and everything about her life starts to seem weird and embarrassing, Apple turns to music. If she can just save enough to buy a guitar and learn to play, maybe she can change herself. It might be the music that saves her . . . or it might be her two new friends, who show her how special she really is.

Erin Entrada Kelly deftly brings Apple's conflicted emotions to the page in her debut novel about family, friendship, popularity, and going your own way. "A must-read for those kids cringing at their own identities."—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books.


From the critics

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Aug 03, 2018

Warning: this book will make you want to listen to the Beatles. But that's a good thing. :)

Initially, I was drawn to this book because of the title and the beautiful cover illustration. The first chapter was a little slow-moving, but after that the action picked up and I was completely drawn in to the story. Over all, it is a consciousness-raising book. The author spotlights the racism that many Asian-Americans experience. She also depicts different aspects of bullying...that is, she shows how agonizing it feels to be bullied, but she also shows that sometimes bullies and bystanders can realize that they are doing wrong and change their ways.

Jun 21, 2018

Absolutely one of the best books of all time. It is so sweet, but I would say some of the content is better for older kids.

stplchildren Aug 07, 2017

Three Interesting Facts (IF) about this book:
1. Apple's favorite Beatle is George Harrison and he's my favorite too.
2. You can't judge a book by it's cover, although the cover of this book is beautiful. So is Apple and her friends. I liked the book also because you can't quite judge some of the characters based on their first or obvious impression. Just like in real life.
3. It's a great realistic fiction read for middle school-junior high kids.

Apple is from the Philippines, and is growing up in Louisiana with her mom who wanted a better life for both of them. Her mom serves smelly fish and pancit when Apple wishes they could just eat pizza like normal people. All she has left of her dad is a cassette tape with Beatles music on it, so when she sees a guitar at the mall for only $20, she’s convinced it’s her ticket to everything she’s ever wanted.

I loved this book because the character of Apple struggles with the same things all middle schoolers do: fitting in, wanting to feel special, figuring out who she is, making mistakes and making it right, being afraid to stand up for herself and others but doing it anyway. Her love for music and all things Beatles, is inspiring and endearing. I rooted for Apple as she became the hero of her own story.

-Himmel Library staff

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Sep 07, 2018

pink_fox_431 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 9 and 15

Jun 21, 2018

blue_dog_36440 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 9 and 17


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Aug 03, 2018

P. 172: "...if you waste too much time worrying about Evil Dorothy and her zombie bride, your brain cells may never recover." This anti-peer pressure quote is both funny and true.


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