Tag Archives: Sally J. Pla

This week’s book talks 2/5-7

7 Feb

I’ve been waiting for over a year for this week. Tomorrow, I leave for the ALA Midwinter Conference in Denver!!!!! My four days of sub plans are written, but, this week, my students will only get three days of book talks – all from my Mock Newbery pile.

Monday,  it was See you in the Cosmos  by Jack Cheng

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Tuesday, I waxed poetic about Nikki Grimes’ One Last Word.

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And, finally, today, Wednesday, I will share The Someday Birds  by Sally J. Pla.

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I’ll be travelling tomorrow, so look for my first ALA update Friday morning.

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A little bird told me to read this one

30 Jul

“Give me stretch-waist shorts and a T-shirt any day of the week, please.”

Oh, how I laughed when I read this line in Sally J. Pla’s debut middle-grade novel, The Someday Birds.  It describes my preferred summer wardrobe. And excellent summer wardrobe  choices isn’t the only reason why I like the main character, Charlie. He is a sensitive soul, clearly somewhere on the autism spectrum, but incredibly likable.

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In addition to sympathizing with his wardrobe choices, I connected with his seemingly irrational belief that things will be okay if he can see all the birds he and his dad recorded on their “Someday Birds List”.  When I was an exchange student in Denmark, I convinced myself I was a jinx because, just before I moved to my second host family, a family tragedy struck. A few weeks later, a second tragedy occurred. I understood neither were my fault, but I couldn’t help thinking they were.

Publisher’s Summary: Charlie’s perfectly ordinary life has been unraveling ever since his war journalist father was injured in Afghanistan.

When his father heads from California to Virginia for medical treatment, Charlie reluctantly travels cross-country with his boy-crazy sister, unruly brothers, and a mysterious new family friend. He decides that if he can spot all the birds that he and his father were hoping to see someday along the way, then everything might just turn out okay.

Debut author Sally J. Pla has written a tale that is equal parts madcap road trip, coming-of-age story for an autistic boy who feels he doesn’t understand the world, and an uplifting portrait of a family overcoming a crisis.

The Someday Birds is a debut middle grade novel perfect for fans of Counting by 7s and Fish in a Tree, filled with humor, heart, and chicken nuggets.

The mysterious new family member, Ludmilla, is a Bosnian war orphan with a connection to their father that Charlie and his older sister, Davis, want to uncover. When we finally hear her story, it is enough to break a reader’s heart, but brings everyone closer together.

This is a highly readable, beautiful story, full of humor and pathos – and it might just be a Newbery contender.

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