Monday, May 11, 2020

Birdie and Me by J. M. M. Nuanez - ADVISABLE

Birdie and Me by J. M. M. Nuanez, 249 pages. Kathy Dawson Books (Penguin Random House), 2020. $17.

Language: PG (2 swears 0 'f'); Mature Content: G; Violence: G.



12yo Jack and her little brother Birdie are moving in with their Uncle Patrick. They are unhappy about it because they were living with Uncle Carl and he liked them. But Uncle Carl is not very responsible, and after missing too many "meetings with the teacher" about Birdie's many absences, and his gender non-conforming clothes, Uncle Patrick takes them instead. He is strict, makes them eat healthy foods, and needs Birdie to dress in ordinary "boy" clothes - which he hates. Everything seems so complicated without Mama.

Nuanez's debut novel is a tender read. I loved sweet Birdie - sad that none of the adults in his life were equipped to help him navigate his feelings. Delightful characters - Rosie and Janet - the voices of reason - and humor as well. The relationship between the siblings was great (both sets! - the uncles have some stuff going on , too). A heartfelt story about figuring out where you belong.

Lisa Librarian

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