In a world where everyone else seems to know how to get along, Sparrow Cooke, an eighth-grade black girl in Brooklyn, finds solace in flying like a bird whenever she’s uncomfortable, until the day comes when that’s no longer an option.
When Sparrow is found on a rooftop, everyone assumes it’s a suicide attempt, and she’s suddenly thrust into the experience of hospitals, therapy, and a mom who doesn’t understand. But Sparrow wasn’t trying to kill herself. She was escaping her feelings of awkwardness by imagining she was high in the sky, soaring with a flock of birds. This is her main coping mechanism for dealing with her friendlessness and the death of one of her trusted adults, the librarian Mrs. Wexler. Can she learn how to stay on Earth and deal with the things that scare her? An extremely diverse cast of characters, including people of different races, gender, and sexual orientation, drives the strong, delicate narrative of Moon’s debut novel. Sparrow deals with different emotional issues against a backdrop of lyrical language and touching images, with a healthy dose of musical connections that beg to be added to a playlist and a bibliography of favorite books that is as consciously diverse as the cast. Sparrow is a character to learn from.
Both inspiring and useful for anyone who’s ever felt like they don’t belong. (Fiction. 12-14)