We’re back with our third selection for CPI Medal Mania! As previously mentioned, once a week we will be sharing a title with you we feel is destined for literary award greatness and possibly the Newbery medal and/or honor!
Newbery Prediction #3: Birdie and Me by J. M. M. Nuanez
Publication Date: 02/18/2020
Publisher: Kathy Dawson Books
Find it on our website HERE.
An emotional and uplifting debut about a girl named Jack and her gender creative little brother, Birdie, searching for the place where they can be their true and best selves.
After their mama dies, Jack and Birdie find themselves without a place to call home. And when Mama’s two brothers each try to provide one—first sweet Uncle Carl, then gruff Uncle Patrick—the results are funny, tender, and tragic.
They’re also somehow…spectacular.
With voices and characters that soar off the page, J. M. M. Nuanez’s debut novel depicts an unlikely family caught in a situation none of them would have chosen, and the beautiful ways in which they finally come to understand one another. Perfect for fans of The Thing about Jellyfish and Counting By Sevens.
Why have we chosen this title?
My goodness, how does one begin to even explain Birdie and Me and why it is such a wonderful read? First let’s start with the characters. Jack is great, she is the narrator and hero of our story and she really is an exceptional big sister, she’s funny, she questions things and she does a great job of doing what she thinks is the best option for both herself and for Birdie. Both Uncle Carl and Uncle Patrick are these incredibly sweet men that have their lives figured out for the most part (not really though, but we don’t want to spoil anything!) and then these two children are just kind of placed in their care and neither one really knows what to make of it.
But then, then there is Birdie. This incredibly sweet child that loves to express themself in fashion choices and is positively mesmerized by magazines and books about clothing and beauty from different time periods (I feel like Birdie grows up to become a fashion historian, but that’s just me). Birdie is funny, charming and just a regular kid. They are asked regularly throughout the book who they are and why and how they identify and Birdie is just Birdie, a magical human that just wants to go about life in their own way. Birdie will steal your heart and you will champion Jack and Birdie from the very first page. They go through so much together and they do it in their own special way. This book is full of so much heart with incredible storytelling and emotion.