Blackbird Fly

by Erin Entrada Kelly

Other authorsBetsy Peterschmidt (Illustrator)
Hardcover, 2016

Call number

JF KEL

Publication

Greenwillow Books (2016), Edition: Reprint, 320 pages

Description

Bullied at school, eighth-grader Apple, a Filipino American who loves the music of the Beatles, decides to change her life by learning how to play the guitar.

User reviews

LibraryThing member mal2012
middle school, mean girls, music
LibraryThing member Salsabrarian
Apple and her mother are Filipino immigrants living in Louisiana. Apple longs to play a guitar of her own but her mother insists she focus on education. As the only Filipina in her middle school, she's an outsider, bearing the brunt of racist taunts such as "dog-eater," ending up on the "Dog Log"
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of ugliest girls in school, and feeling ostracized by her so-called best friend Alyssa. The bullying and her loneliness are wrenching. I don't know how many kids today are into the Beatles, but this may inspire them to pursue a couple of their tracks, including the titular song. And it's good to see a children's book featuring a Filipino protagonist.
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LibraryThing member jothebookgirl
This is the story of middle schooler Apple Yengko. She and her mother emigrated from the Philippines after her father's death when Apple was four. She is the only Filipino in her Southern Louisiana middle school. And middle school is one of her main problems. Apple is different due to her
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nationality and her name is a bit unusual. Because Apple is Asian the unkind middle school kids call her dog eater. Don't all Asians eat dogs they claim?

Middle school can often be a time of casual cruelty when every kid wants to be just like all the other kids and every kid is sure that everyone is watching them all the time. It can be especially cruel if a kid is outside of the norm in some way. Apple's best friend Alyssa is determined to have a boyfriend and be one of the popular crowd. Unfortunately this does not go well with having Apple for a best friend. The school has an unwritten list for girls, The Dog List. When Apple finds herself on the Dog List - the list of the ugliest girls in school - Alyssa dumps her in a very cruel manner.

Apple wants to be a musician. She is a huge fan of the Beatles and wants to play the guitar like George Harrison. However, her mother refuses to get her a guitar and wants her to concentrate on her schoolwork and getting a good education. Americanized Apple is sometimes embarrassed by her mother who still speaks with an accent, still cooks Filipino foods, and still spouts her Filipino values.

Apple's attitude starts to change when she meets a new boy in school from California named Evan Temple. Evan isn't swept up in the middle grade desire to be life everyone else. He accepts her just like she is and doesn't want her to change. Well, except maybe, to stop letting the crowd influence her. Apple also gets a chance to get to know another girl on the Dog List. Helena has been hiding the fact that she has an amazing voice.

Apple's attitude starts to change when she meets a new boy in school from California named Evan Temple. Evan isn't swept up in the middle grade desire to be like everyone else. He accepts her just like she is and doesn't want her to change. He recognizes her as Filipino and respects her and her mother for remaining loyal to their hertage. Apple also gets a chance to get to know another girl on the Dog List. Helena has been hiding the fact that she has an amazing voice. Helena is a shy overweight girl with no friends. She is called hurtful names and even Apple has at one point joined in on this meanness.

As you read you will feel Apple's pain as she tried to make a place for herself in her middle school. You'll experience happiness when You see Apple finding the courage to stop letting the crowd set her values.
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LibraryThing member reader1009
children's fiction. middle-grade novel (Apple is in 6th grade): school outcast because of perceived ethnicity, friends turning against each other because of middle school pressures/struggle for popularity, bullying, self-acceptance and perseverence. Incidentally, Apple is also part of a single
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parent family (dead dad; mom won't talk about it). She also loves the Beatles and teaches herself to play the guitar (despite not owning one). The first part of the book was middle school kids being horrible to each other; the second half (in which Apple starts actually sticking up for folks) is better--easily read in one sitting.
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LibraryThing member jennybeast
Great power-though, it won't always be middle school, kind of book. The specific sorts of bullying were hard for me (dog log, hot lot lists), but watching Apple find her way was great. Hopeful at the end. Filipino immigrant family, single mom, main character in 6th grade, all about the Beatles,
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man. I appreciate that Apple starts on the bullying/silent witness side, so that she can recognize the behavior in herself, as well as respond when it's turned against her.
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Pages

320

ISBN

0062238620 / 9780062238627
Page: 1.2265 seconds