What the Birds See – Sonya Hartnett

  What the Birds See – Sonya Hartnett, Candlewick Press, (9781536208818), c2002, 2018

Format: Paperback

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

 Genre: Realistic fiction

 What did you like about the book? This may well be the saddest book I have ever read.  At the age of eight Adrian is taken from his mother who is deemed unstable and goes to live with his father.  His father finds that caring for Adrian interferes with his freedom so for the past year Adrian has been living with his Gran and his uncle Rory.  Gran cares for Adrian but she would really prefer that she did not have to.  There are no hugs, or warmth or cuddles.  The one friend that Adrian has is not much of a friend, inviting him over only to destroy his prized Slinky possession.  Uncle Rory, is nice to Adrian but paralyzed emotionally from causing an automobile accident that made a good friend into a vegetable.

When a new family moves in across the street from him, Adrian finally has some kids to hang out with but the oldest girl, Nicole, is unhappy, depressed and brings Adrian even further down.  The entire story is one of gloom and despair.  Hoping for a happy ending for Adrian?  Nope.

Anything you did not like about the book?  Though it is very well written, it is so depressing that I’m not sure to whom I would recommend it.

To whom would you recommend this book? I’m really not sure.  A book group?

Who should buy this book? Public and high school libraries

Where would you shelve it? YA fiction

 Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles?  If you are in the mood for the saddest story ever, sure.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Katrina Yurenka, Retired Librarian, Manager, Youth Services Book Review

Date of Review:  5/18/2020

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