Owen has an exposed space in his chest where Gail, a wise and chatty java sparrow, has lived since he was a newborn. His mother has hidden him from those who would hurt him because of his difference, but he’s a teenager now and must figure out who to trust and how to be — or even if he CAN be. I really enjoyed this sensitive and heartbreaking coming-of-age story about a queer boy, his bird, and their friends. Though not usually drawn to magical realism, I found myself almost believing in the possibility of Gail, and that was a real joy.
The Boy with a Bird in His Chest by Emme Lund, (List Price: $17, Atria Books, 9781982171940, January 2023)
Reviewed by Serena Wyckoff, Copperfish Books in Punta Gorda, Florida