Future rock star or friendless misfit? That’s no choice at all. In this acclaimed novel by Newbery Medalist Erin Entrada Kelly, twelve-year-old Apple grapples with being different; with friends and backstabbers; and with following her dreams.
Publishers Weekly called Blackbird Fly “a true triumph,” and the Los Angeles Times Book Review said, “Apple soars like the eponymous blackbird of her favorite Beatles song.”
Apple has always felt a little different from her classmates. She and her mother moved to Louisiana from the Philippines when she was little, and her mother still cooks Filipino foods and chastises Apple for becoming “too American.” When Apple’s friends turn on her and everything about her life starts to seem weird and embarrassing, Apple turns to music. If she can just save enough to buy a guitar and learn to play, maybe she can change herself. It might be the music that saves her . . . or it might be her two new friends, who show her how special she really is.
Erin Entrada Kelly deftly brings Apple’s conflicted emotions to the page in her debut novel about family, friendship, popularity, and going your own way. “A must-read for those kids cringing at their own identities.”—Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books.
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“What sets Kelly’s book apart is the combination of a quirky narrator and details about living in a first-generation Filipino American household…Through her love of music…Apple starts to soar like the eponymous blackbird of her favorite Beatles song.”
Los Angeles Times
— Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“Kelly skillfully captures the betrayals, tentative first crushes, and fluctuating emotions of middle school…A true triumph.”
— Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Children’s literature has been waiting for Apple Yengko―a strong, Asian-American girl whose ethnic identity simultaneously complicates and enriches her life.”
— Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Will resonate with any student in middle school who has felt different and ostracized. The author has skillfully captured the various characters that populate Apple’s . . . school.”
— School Library Journal (starred review)
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About Erin Entrada Kelly
Erin Entrada Kelly is an award–winning author of children’s novels. She was awarded the Newbery Medal for Hello, Universe and a Newbery Honor for We Dream of Space. Her debut novel, Blackbird Fly, was a Kirkus Best Book of the Year, a School Library Journal Best Book, an ALSC Notable Book, and an Asian/Pacific American Literature Honor Book. She is also the author of The Land of Forgotten Girls, winner of the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature; You Go First, a Spring 2018 Indie Next Pick; Lalani of the Distant Sea, an Indie Next Pick; Those Kids from Fawn Creek, named to numerous best-of-the-year lists; and three acclaimed novels for younger readers, Maybe Maybe Marisol Rainey, Surely Surely Marisol Rainey, and Only Only Marisol Rainey, which she also illustrated. Her short fiction has been nominated for the Philippines Free Press Literary Award for Short Fiction and the Pushcart Prize. Before becoming a children’s author, she worked as a journalist and magazine editor and received numerous awards for community service journalism, feature writing, and editing from the Louisiana Press Association and the Associated Press.
About Ferdelle Capistrano
Andrew Eiden, an Earphones Award–winning narrator, is an actor and voice artist. He has been acting since the age of four, working at regional theaters including La Mirada Theatre, the Glendale Center Theatre, and the Pasadena Playhouse. He has starred in dozens of national commercials, guest-spotted on numerous television shows, and has been a series regular on three programs: Discovery Channel’s Outward Bound, Disney Channel’s Movie Surfers, and most notably ABC’s Complete Savages