Strange Birds: A Field Guide to Ruffling Feathers

by Celia C. Pérez

Cat Garcia, Aster Douglas, Ofelia Castillo, and Lane DeSanti find common cause as... read more

Cat Garcia, Aster Douglas, Ofelia Castillo, and Lane DeSanti find common cause as social activists when they join forces to protest the use of a hat with rare bird feathers in a local girls’ club called the Floras. It’s a cause they take on after lonely, wealthy Lane invites the other three to her tree house and they form a club of their own. Their decision to become social activists grows out of disparate goals. Cuban American Cat is a bird-lover facing family pressure to compete to become Miss Flora; aspiring journalist Ofelia, also Cuban American, is looking for a great story for a New York journalism camp application— assuming her parents will let her go that far from home; Aster is trying to help her grandfather research whether the famous DiSanti Orchards Winter Sun orange was actually brought to Florida by their Bahamian ancestors; and Lane, white, staying with her Florida grandmother following her parents’ divorce, is looking for connection. Exceptional characterizations, shifting points of view and a marvelously drawn Florida setting ground a story that sees the girls forming a bond of friendship that transcends their activism, although these four diverse kids have realistic discussions about both race and class in a book that blends the old-fashioned feel of a caper with contemporary sensibilities. (Ages 9–12)

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

show less