By Alex Pearl
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing
ABOUT THE BOOK
Eleven-year-old schoolboy, Roy Nuttersley has been dealt a pretty raw deal. While hideous parents show him precious little in the way of love and affection, school bullies make his life a misery. So Roy takes comfort in looking after the birds in his garden, and in return the birds hatch a series of ambitious schemes to protect their new friend. As with the best-laid plans, however, these get blown completely off course - and as a result the lives of both Roy and his arch tormentor, Harry Hodges are turned upside down - but in a surprisingly good way.
Genre: Middle Grade/Fantasy
Reviewed by Laura Martinez
4 out of 5 stars
This middle grade novel does a great job at addressing difficult topics such as bullying, child neglect, and homelessness while still remaining light hearted. I really enjoyed the premise of the plot and the magical realism that Pearl weaves into the story is sure to capture the attention of any young reader. The magical birds with their human like characteristics were one of my favorite parts of the story. I did feel that the ending of the story was a bit rushed and there were a few loose ends concerning the other characters that could have been resolved had the author chosen to develop these characters more.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alex Pearl is a slightly shambolic and extremely short-sighted advertising copywriter. He lives in NW London with his wife and two kids who are far smarter than their old man.
I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for writing a review. I was not obligated to give a positive review, and all thoughts are my own.
OTHER REVIEWS FROM DREAMING BIG’S REVIEW TEAM:
MY REVIEW – Amy Owings
5 out of 5 stars
This is an excellent middle-grade book that tackles subjects such as bullying and dysfunctional families in an authentic and tender way. Rather than making Harry, Roy’s tormentor, an emotionless and impersonal bully, it delves into the reasons for his bullying, namely his feelings of inadequacy and abandonment. It paints both Roy and Harry in a sympathetic light, making them likeable and complex as characters. The magical realism that’s implanted in the form of anthropomorphic birds adds an engaging, unique layer to the story that’s sure to draw in young readers, while the prose and characters appeal to all.
My Review – Melissa Brooks
4 out of 5 stars
I liked this book. Pearl was able to write an enjoyable story that tackles the hard subject of abuse and neglect. This book has a good message about the negative effects on children when their parents don’t care about them or each other.
The story itself is well written. It has a good flow and a good pace. It also has detailed descriptions and very detailed characterizations (both human characters and the birds). Each chapter starts from the perspective of a different character, which allows readers to learn more about each character and to see multiple parts of the story.
I won't spoil the ending, but I will say that while I liked the ending, it was a surprise and it was kind of sudden, which did take away from the story a bit. Overall though, I definitely recommend this book.
MY REVIEW by Kelly Benning
Echoing the charm of classic English authors such as Roald Dahl before him, Alex Pearl has written Sleeping with the Blackbirds which reminds us of the unspeakable magic that comes from a good heart and unique friendships. For the child in all of us who is in need of a little adventure, Pearl’s work has an appeal that is hard to pin down and yet it gives us the impression that it neither needs nor wants to be captured.