A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Strange Birds: A Field Guide to Ruffling Feathers, by Celia C. Pérez (The First Rule of Punk) is a powerful and thought-provoking coming-of-age story about four girls in a small Florida town who are trying to make a difference in their community by fighting for animal rights. Readers will learn about different approaches to social justice and activism, facts about various birds, the history of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, famous journalists such as Ida B. Wells, Nellie Bly, and Ida Tarbell, and famous activists such as Harriet Hemenway and Minna Hall. There are also DIY activities included at the back of the book for kids after they've finished the story. Friendship, courage, perseverance, and teamwork are important themes, and the young activists are inspired by the truth, kindness, justice, and community. The girls are almost attacked by a three-legged dog. Characters talk about an invisible wall that divides the rich and poor sides of town.
What's the story?
STRANGE BIRDS: A FIELD GUIDE TO RUFFLING FEATHERS tells the story of four girls -- aspiring journalist Ofelia Castillo, smart foodie Aster Douglas, passionate birdwatcher Cat Garcia, and artistic rebel Lane DiSanti -- whose lives become connected over the course of one unforgettable summer in Sabal Palms, Florida. Thanks to a mysterious invitation from Lane to join the Ostentation of Others and Outsiders, the girls form an incredible friendship and bond over their mission to get the Floras, the local Scouts, to stop using an old hat made from bird feathers. It'll take lots of teamwork, courage, and perseverance for these young activists to raise awareness about animal rights and bring social change to their community. Will they succeed?
Is it any good?
Kids will love this powerful and thought-provoking coming-of-age tale that promotes friendship and activism. Author Celia C. Pérez seamlessly includes facts about animal rights, famous journalists and activists, and different approaches to activism that will have kids starting to think about which issues they believe in and how they can bring change to their communities. Readers will be captivated by this inspiring story, which is told from each girl’s perspective, and find themselves rooting for these strong, smart, and diverse female characters to succeed.
At times in Strange Birds: A Field Guide to Ruffling Feathers it seems as if the Ostentation of Others and Outsiders' mission is impossible, but the girls' courage, perseverance, and teamwork prove that fighting against injustice is worth the risk.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the call to action presented in Strange Birds: A Field Guide to Ruffling Feathers. What's happening in your school or community that you think is unfair or unjust? What can you do to help?
What did you learn about birds that you didn't know before? Do you look at birds differently after reading Strange Birds?
- Author: Celia C. Pérez
- Genre: Contemporary Fiction
- Topics: Activism, Friendship, Great Girl Role Models, Middle School, Misfits and Underdogs, Science and Nature
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Kokila
- Publication date: September 3, 2019
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 8 - 12
- Number of pages: 384
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Award: ALA Best and Notable Books
- Last updated: February 4, 2020
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