Sometimes it seems as though life has taken away everything you've got and left you with nothing but pain and questions. Set in 1937 with the boxing matches of Joe Louis for a background, this is the story of three children, Otis, Willie and Hibernia. Otis had a happy life until the day a hay truck ran into his parents' truck taking their lives instantly and leaving Otis an orphan who carries a Philco radio as his link to family, memories and love. Willie's hands are burned to nearly useless. In a moment of rage his "father," Sampson, cruelly pushed Willie's hands into boiling hot hominy. The two boys live in a home for orphans and abandoned children. Hibernia has lost her mother to a dream of stardom. Hibernia, with her gift of a powerful singing voice, lives with her daddy, The Reverend. Together the two are finding their way to a new version of their lives-one without Pauline, mother and wife. Now, the fights of Joe Louis ring out over the airwaves as the entire community holds its breath taut with hope. Hope that all lives have the potential for joy, success and most of all.... love. It's time to set the bird free. The voices resonate beyond the pages leaving you with a feeling of knowing these children or wanting to know these children. The courage and the determination are steady. A wonderful journey back to decades gone by and deep into young hearts all too familiar today. Ages 9-13 280 pages 978-0316074032
Bird in a Box
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, April 2011
- Character-Building Curriculum
- Social Studies Curriculum
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