My Beautiful Birds – Suzanne Del Rizzo


91nkx5cbp-l My Beautiful Birds – Suzanne Del Rizzo, Pajama Press, Inc. 9781772780109, 2017

Format: Hardcover

Rating:  (1-5, 5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5

Genre:  Juvenile fiction: Syria & Refugees, Peace and Justice  Books, Birds, Social Themes of poverty, war, homelessness.

What did you like about the book? Sami, a recent Syrian refugee, explores his very powerful, personal perspective of  the pain, healing and hope of his resettlement ordeal. Suzanne Del Rizzo’s  incredible attention to each detail in the story line, dialogue and exceptionally detailed polymer clay and acrylic art work of the landscape and living conditions, beautifully combines  to allow the reader to absorb the profound emotional loss that Sami has experienced and continues daily. The hopeful symbolism of reconnecting with his beloved birds begins his self-healing process that takes flight in the community and spreads as he welcomes his newest refugee friend. I appreciated that the book did not explain, blame or discuss any political themes, leaving these questions outside Sami’s innocent mind, allowing him to focus on reality, humanity and survival. I hope this book inspires others to realize the daily plight of refugees. I appreciated the “Author’s Note” on the last page that simply outlined facts about the refugee crisis, sadly noting that half of those displaced are innocent children like Sami.

Anything you didn’t like about it? NO, it was well thought out and executed beautifully.

To whom would you recommend this book?  Everyone that works in any small way for social justice and peace, parents that want to expose and inspire young children to social justice issues, ministers, religious education teachers., community organizers.

Who should buy this book? Elementary School libraries, non-profit agencies that work with refugee issues

Where would you shelve it ? Books that focus on social themes like refugees, homelessness, social justice, etc. Bird and animal books.

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Diane Neylon, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA. 

Date of review:  2/3/2017

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