Title: Be Light Like a Bird
Author: Monika Schroder
Series: Stand Alone
Publisher: Capstone Young Readers
Publication Date: September 1, 2016
Hard hitting books that get you right in the emotional gut are hard to read, but for some reason when the book is meant for those middle grade readers out there I find them even harder to stomach. There is just something about them when I know that they are meant for a pretty young audience that really gets me. Maybe it is because I wish I could shelter these readers forever from such pain and suffering even though I know there are those out there that have already suffered through what the book is dealing with or worse.
Of course Be Light Like a Bird falls into this category. I had no idea what to expect when I picked up the book. I am sure I had read the blurb about it back when the author requested a review from me, but I kind of forgot. Then, of course, I didn't bother reading the blurb again when I finally picked up the book to read it... I just went for it.
Be Light Like a Bird is about a young girl named Wren. Wren is only 12 years old and already has to go through an unimaginable life experience. Her father has died in an airplane crash leaving herself and her mother without any money and their small family in turmoil. You see, for whatever reason she might have, Wren's mother refuses to talk about Wren's father. She won't talk about his death, his life, nothing. She doesn't even have a service for him. This leaves Wren to deal with the loss of her father all on her own.
And her mother really isn't making the whole thing easy. Her mother and her have to move. And then her mother will date a guy for a couple weeks (even though her father has been gone for only a month or so!!) and then when they break up she has them move again. This doesn't allow Wren to form any roots or to make any friends. Making her feel even more alone and confused.
Eventually Wren and her mother end up in a town called Pyramid where most of our story happens. Not only is this a story of loss, family struggles, and relationships, but it is also a story of finding a cause and fighting for it. Be Light Like a Bird really has a lot in its pages for us to take in!
So what did I ultimately think of this book and the story it contained? I found it very very hard to put down. I found myself turning the pages wanting to understand what was going on. I found myself wondering what exactly was going on with Wren's mother. In short, I really enjoyed it!
There was one part in the book, very early on, that I found a little awkward to read. It was when Wren's uncle came to visit shortly after the death of her father. I found his narrative to be very...odd and off and not very realistic especially for the age bracket I had mentally stuck him in. Thankfully he only makes this one extremely short appearance and no one else talks like this for the rest of the book.
The rest of the book was good though. It felt like it was written correctly for a middle grade reader. It was on a tough topic, but it wasn't overly detailed on topics or anything. This left it still having a feeling of hope and, at points, a lightness which made it not as tough to get through as it could have been.
With all the things covered in this book though, I think parents/guardians/teachers should be ready to have conversations that may pop up as a result of reading this book. They will happen and they are not going to be easy conversations by any means.
This review is based on a copy provided by the author in exchange for a fair and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are mine and mine alone.