The Revolution of Birdie Randolph

by Brandy Colbert

Birdie sometimes resents her mom’s overprotectiveness, which is why she hasn’t... read more

Birdie sometimes resents her mom’s overprotectiveness, which is why she hasn’t told her parents about Booker, the boy she really likes. Her parents have high expectations and she’s worried that Booker’s stint in juvie would be an issue, despite the mitigating circumstances. Birdie’s aunt Carlene, on the other hand, is easy to get along with. Clean and sober and working toward getting her cosmetology license after battling addiction for years, Carlene is far less rigid and judgmental than her sister, Birdie’s mom. Even Birdie’s doctor dad sometimes seems like he wants to cut both Birdie and Carlene some slack. Birdie knows her mom grew up taking care of Carlene, and has worked hard to move beyond her own self-described “ghetto” past to own her own salon. But that knowledge isn’t enough to ease the sense of betrayal when Birdie makes a discovery that completely upends her understanding of family. Spending time with the likable, acutely drawn characters this novel about an upper middle class African American teen in Chicago is an absolute pleasure. Birdie and Booker’s respectful relationship, and the novel’s open, non-punitive take on teens and sex (including discussion about birth control), is one of many things to appreciate. (Age 13 and older)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2020

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