Parents' Guide to

Black Bird, Blue Road

By Carrie R. Wheadon, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 9+

Moving journey through ancient Jewish empire tackles grief.

Black Bird, Blue Road

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 9+

Based on 1 parent review

age 9+

One of the best children's books written!

Truly one of the best books written in the 21st century! It had so much creativity and soul. The self -sacrifice between characters is wonderful and touching. The story line is really good and the messages throughout this book really speak to your heart. It also teaches about the different beliefs many cultures have. All in all, a spectacular read!

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

This moving fantasy-adventure with ancient Jewish roots tackles grief and loss in a fresh landscape with fascinating characters. Ziva is a force of nature. She wants to be a judge like her father and sees death as a great injustice to her brilliant twin who has so much promise. Her drive is relentless to get him the help he needs. It's the only way you believe that she would leave her parents without a backward glance and only a fleeting thought or two that they may be worried sick. It's a good thing Almas arrives when he does to help support her and challenge her in equal measure when Pesah gets sicker, the way to safety becomes harder to find, and the Angel of Death closes in. You feel her desperation with every mile of the arduous journey and feel for the decisions she needs to make in the end. Tissues aplenty will be required.

Black Bird, Blue Road is unique in so many wonderful ways. The setting is both ancient and brand-new, a rarely heard tale about the Jewish empire stretching over the steppes of modern-day Ukraine and Turkey. The melding of the historical with folklore feels natural in this world, especially in one children are forced to navigate by themselves. There are sheydim/trickster demons and shapeshifters all around, and mysterious knowing ravens that bring Pesah many small gifts along the journey. A mystical air always surrounds the story, helped along by the narration that begins each of the four parts. It addresses the reader directly and encourages speculation about what impossible directions the tale will turn next. It's like you're sitting around a campfire, out on the steppes, staring up at the stars, and ready to be transported by a fantastic storyteller. And you will be transported.

Book Details

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