SUMMARY ñ Blackbird Fly

Erin Entrada Kelly Í 1 SUMMARY

SUMMARY ñ Blackbird Fly ✓ Future rock star or friendless misfit That’s no choice at all In this debut tween novel twelve year old Apple grapples with being different; with friends and backstabbers and following her dreamsApple has always felt a little different from her classmates She and her mother moved to Louisiana from the Philippines when she was lN 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 how special she really is. Richie’s Picks BLACKBIRD FLY by Erin Entrada Kelly Greenwillow March 2015 304p ISBN 978 0 06 223861 0“While you look so sweetly and divine I can feel you hereI see your eyes are busy kissing mine and I do I doWondering what it is they’re expecting to seeShould someone be looking at me” George Harrison “Let it Down”“My mother frowned ‘Your father gave you that nickname’“I thought of my father’s name written in black marker on Abbey Road When you write your name on something it means it’s really important to you so it must have been one of his most prized possessions I always thought that meant he was creative and smart But if he was so creative and smart why did he give me such a stupid nickname Did he ever think about how it would make me feel Did he ever think about how my name would look when I had to write it on things“I swallowed ‘I don’t care’ And why should I The only information I had about my father besides the tape were a few fuzzy memories and a postcard from our island in the Philippines and that’s not really information it’s just a picture of where we lived There aren’t even any people in the picture Just a white sandy beach and blue water My mother’s always saying that she moved us to America to have a better life and I still haven’t figured out how Chapel Spring Louisiana is better than a white sandy beach When we first moved here I’d stare at the postcard and imagine my mother and father holding hands and standing with their feet in the water but now I keep in my nightstand under a pile of old notebooks What’s the point”When Apple Yengko was younger other children were not so outwardly judgmental about Apple being the only Asian looking kid at school or about her having a heavily accented mother who cooked differently But now it is middle school and many of Apple’s former friends are caught up in impressing boys and each other No doubt their own insecurities make them feel that it’s a liability to hang with someone different someone the not so bright boys make fun of by claiming she’s a dog eater someone who isn’t beautiful in that stereotypical mannerThings might be different if this was a multicultural rich metropolis but Chapel Spring Louisiana is anything but multicultural richOn top of her problems with her peers Apple’s immigrant mother won’t even discuss Apple’s obsessive desire to get a guitar and learn to play In her mind Apple figures that like her dead hero George Harrison who left school to join The Beatles Apple can escape Chapel Spring by becoming a great guitaristAfter her friends abandon her in the wake of Apple’s being listed on the “dog log” the ugly girls list that the boys compile she becoming friends with a Evan a newly arrived California boy who sees the local unintellegencia for who they are and with Heleena the most despised girl at school the fat girl who turns out to be an incredible vocalist Thanks to a music teacher’s generosity and the support of her new friends Apple is able to at least make some of her dreams come trueBLACKBIRD FLY which is a phrase from the McCartney song “Blackbird” is a feel good there is a better way book in the same vein as James Howe’s THE MISFITSFor instance when a so called “beautiful” girl is traumatized by being put on the boys’ “hot” list and then having a lot of hormonal boys falsely claiming that they got to “make out” with her it reminded me of Joe’s cousin Pam in THE MISFITS And in the end the love you takeIs eual to the love you make Paul McCartneyReading BLACKBIRD FLY made me feel really happyRichie Partington MLISRichie's Picks


Future rock star or friendless misfit That’s no choice at all In this debut tween novel twelve year old Apple grapples with being different; with friends and backstabbers and following her dreamsApple has always felt a little different from her classmates She and her mother moved to Louisiana from the Philippines w. I’ve been terribly busy lately Hence why this mini review took so much longer to write But I promise myself I had to do it Blackbird Fly is a very difficult story to read It is not because it is poorly written or in any way that you think but because it challenges me as a person The protagonist of the story Apple is much than a character I could relate to A Filipino main character who migrated in the US at an early age is currently having a mid life crisis figuring herself out That was me I was her in Elementary and throughout High School even now when I’m in my early twenties I could still see Apple flaring within me every once in a while Identically and culturally speaking we are very much attuned That never happened to me before I rarely see myself and my culture get represented in any medium I consumed This is why I’m bloody terrific to have Blackbird Fly in my life Blackbird Fly follows the story of Apple Yengko an aspiring musician Having moved to Louisiana from the Philippines when she was little she always felt estranged by her Filipino roots Her mother expects her to embrace her culture but Apple always feels she’s inadeuate to belong In a meanwhile her friends ditch her after learning she is part of the “Dog Log” a list of the least attractive girls in the school Honestly I don’t have anything much to say about this book aside from my in depth analysis of the racism discrimination and the diaspora we regularly experience So if you want to stop reading now you should go ahead In other words YES you should definitely get it especially if you want to read something that doesn’t conform to Middle Grade’s white kid woesAs I already lamented above Apple has a difficult time celebrating her culture According to our default’s standard her mom has an accent that isn’t pleasing to the ears She still cooks food that would be considered unappealing and so on That cause an understandably embarrassment from Apple’s side All of her friends are white and they necessarily don’t understand her culture For the most part they doesn’t want to Most of the kids in her school subjected her to vicious taunts about her identity Apple has been called “dog eater” because she’s Asian Her identity is constantly ripped off from her kids often interchange her ethnicity with others This is not a surprising scenario White children are just as brutal with their minority alienation as much as their parents and forefathers Which reminds me how do white children learn racism and hurtful remarks Did they heard it from the medium they regularly consume or do they constantly hear it from their parents and adults around themBlackbird Fly has a very special place in my heart It makes me even thankful to my parents who sacrificed a great deal of things so we could live a comfortable life

SUMMARY Blackbird Fly

Blackbird FlyHen she was little and her mother still cooks Filipino foods makes mistakes with her English and chastises Apple for becoming “too American” It becomes unbearable in middle school when the boys the stupid stupid boys in Apple’s class put her name on the Dog Log the list of the most unpopular girls in school Whe. Originally posted here at Random Musings of a BibliophileBlackbird Fly by Erin Entrada Kelly appealed to me for so many different reasons I am always looking for good MG school stories and this is one about an immigration experience as well It's a good one too with strong characters excellent themes and a realism about middle school that made me slightly sick to my stomachAnalyn known by her nickname Apple moved to the US from the Philippines when she was only four years old In the years since she has learned a disdain for herself and her mother She is embarrassed by the food her mother cooks and how she saves every penny She longs to be like her American classmates It is not easy being the only Filipino in her small town Louisiana school Things get worse when Apple's social climbing friends want to have boyfriends and it is revealed that Apple has made the school's Dog Log Apple hates herself and as school becomes even less bearable Things at home are not much better All Apple wants to do is learn to play guitar and her mother won't allow her Through some new friends a lot of awful mistakes and some hard lessons Apple begins to look beyond the small mindset of middle school social dynamics and works hard to make her future dreams a realityThis book is seriously well done So well done it actually hurts to read it Middle school is the worst I actually had knots in my stomach as I read about Apple's life The often racist teasing The yearning to fit in and be the same The realization that her friends were not behind her It's a wretched time for anyone and Apple's story conveys that so well All MG readers will understand Apple on some level In addition to the typical middle school story we also have Apple's feelings on being an immigrant child Her embarrassment and resentment of her mother is conveyed so well This is something else that readers will be able to identify with What middle schooler isn't embarrassed and resentful of their family But through Apple's eyes and story readers will also learn that everyone has a story The majority of the supporting characters are just as well drawn as Apple and each has a perfect place and moment in her storyBlackbird Fly is a book about learning who you are and embracing it I like that it doesn't make everything perfect though There is one scene that is a bit over the top as far as breakthrough moments go but it fits so well into where it is in the story and everything else around it is so real I'm okay with that And there is no indication that life is sunshine and roses after that I did feel the end wrapped up a little uickly but I also like that the books is as short as it isI enjoyed reading Blackbird Fly and recommend it to anyone who loves good MG school stories I will certainly be putting a copy of it in the hands of my daughterI read an e galley made available by the publisher Greenwillow Books via Edelweiss Blackbird Fly goes on sale on March 24th