Bird ISBN: 9781600602412
Published by LEE & LOW, 2009
In this deeply moving book, a young African American boy must come to terms with his adored older brother's drug addiction and ultimate death. Mehkai, known as Bird, loves to draw, particularly birds, and his artwork helps him deal with the often ugly inner city life around him. Part of a loving family who find themselves having to cope with the tragedy of a drug addicted son, Bird finds solace in talking to Uncle Son, his granddad's good friend, who was a pilot with him during the war. Birds and the sky and flight become symbols of heaven in young Bird's eyes, and granddad, who dies soon after Bird's brother Marcus, seems to have gone to heaven 'to keep his eye on Marcus'. Ultimately hopeful, this combination of lyrical writing and beautiful illustrations will prove a consolation to families suffering similar tragedies. Outstanding.