|Teensy bit freaky cover if I look at it too long|
2nd July 2015, Rock the Boat, 336 pages, Paperback, Review copy
Content: illness, grief, MS, tissues needed
Summary from Amazon (Rock the Boat website isn't up yet & I don't gain anything by mentioning Amazon)
Eleven-year-old Naomi ‘Chirp’ Orenstein and her family live an idyllic life on Cape Cod on the east coast of America. Surrounded by sandy beaches, fresh air and wildlife, Chirp is free to roam as she pleases. But when Chirp’s mum is diagnosed with a life-threatening disease, her happy little world begins to collapse around her.
Chirp finds solace in her beloved birdwatching, and her friendship with mysterious outsider Joey. Chirp and Joey take on the world together, dreaming up a host of daring adventures. They explore the woods and the salt marshes – they want to see everything they can. But Chirp cannot keep running forever.
In a nutshell this is a tissue needing tale about a girl with a sick mother and who adores birds. Liking birds myself I understood Chirp's fascination with them. They helped keep her sane while her life got turned upside down, something that sadly happened more than once. I liked seeing how she related to Joey, who didn't have a stable family life, and, something which is rare, their relationship stayed as friends, it didn't zoom in on the romantic side. Yay!
Chirp has to deal with her mother being physically ill, and also mentally ill, which is tough on any adult let alone a child. The reaction of her older sister to it all was understandable and resulted in tissues being needed by me. Adults struggle under similar circumstances, so Chirp did pretty well considering she didn't have years of life experience and a strong network of friends to support her. Every time I see a bird I now look at them differently thanks to Chirp.