Bird by Zetta Elliot, illustrated by Shadra Strickland [in Bloomsbury Review]
An artistically gifted young boy realizes too early in his short life that fixing what he doesn’t like in his pictures is much easier than trying to change what he doesn’t understand about real life. He tragically loses the older brother he so admires to drug addiction and is helpless as his grandfather succumbs to utter grief. With the help of one of his grandfather’s close friends, Bird gathers up his talent and learns once more to fly.
Review: “TBR’s Editors’ Favorites of 2008,” The Bloomsbury Review, November/December 2008