This week we’re celebrating Caroline Starr Rose’s Blue Birds, which turned out to be my first completed book of the new year. Little O was feverish and cough-y and had fallen asleep on my chest. A rare moment for the boy who will no longer sit still. I reached for this gorgeous novel in verse and read it without ever needing a bookmark, turning pages to find out what would happen, stopping to re-read the most beautiful passages, until I reached the end.
This novel takes place in 1587 and follows the friendship of two spirited, young girls. Alis: the only English girl to arrive on the island of Roanoke. And Kimi: a member of the Roanoke tribe.
Tensions rise between the English and the Roanoke, war is waged, and these girls find one another, call to one another, take unbelievable risks, and make room in their hearts to understand and love one another like sisters.
The novel takes place in 1587 but it’s a story for right now. Today. This minute.
It’s a story to stop and sit with, to use the rare moments of quiet amidst all the terrible noise. War wages across our world and within our hearts and we need more stories about finding empathy and compassion. We need more stories about two girls who find beauty in the mystery of one another, who look past their differences and find a shared language of friendship and love.
I loved this book. I also needed it. Since every day I listen to the noise and wish we could all find a new way of seeing.
There are so many stunning passages in this book but I’ll pull one of my favorites, a question Alis asks:
What if a flight of birds
followed the wandering one,
joining him on a journey
These days, I ask a lot of what if’s. This gorgeous novel answers many of them. It releases in March.
But read on to pre-order. The book is gift enough but Caroline has another beautiful gift for you too.
This post is part of a week-long celebration in honor of the book Blue Birds. Author Caroline Starr Rose is giving away a downloadable PDF of this beautiful Blue Birds quote (created by Annie Barnett of Be Small Studios) for anyone who pre-orders the book from January 12-19. Simply click through to order from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books A Million, IndieBound, or Powell’s, then email a copy of your receipt firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday, January 19. PDFs will be sent out January 20.