written by Zetta Elliott
Lee and Low Books • 2008

Young Mekhai, better known as Bird, loves to draw. With drawings, he can erase the things that don’t turn out right. In real life, problems aren’t so easily fixed. As Bird struggles to understand the death of his beloved grandfather and his older brother’s drug addiction, he escapes into his art. Drawing is an outlet for Bird’s emotions and imagination, and provides a path to making sense of his world. In time, with the help of his grandfather’s friend, Bird finds his own special somethin’ and wings to fly. Told with spare grace, Bird is a touching look at a young boy coping with real-life troubles. Readers will be heartened by Bird s quiet resilience, and moved by the healing power of putting pencil to paper.

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• Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award for New Talent in Illustrations
• Ezra Jack Keats Book Award
•ALA Notable Children’s Book
American Library Association (ALA)
• Best Books of 2008
• Kirkus Reviews starred review
• Paterson Prize for Books for Young People
• Best Children’s Books of the Year
Bank Street College of Education
• Celebrate with Books
Cleveland Public Library
Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC)
• Editor’s Favorites
The Bloomsbury Review
• Celebrate with Books
Cleveland Public Library
• Storytelling World Resource Award
• West Virginia Children’s Choice Book Award
West Virginia Library Commission

“Elliott’s sensitivity for her subjects resonates with Strickland’s distinctive mixed-media art.”

Publisher’s Weekly
“A complicated weaving of impressive watercolor, gouache, charcoal and ink drawings amplifies the metaphors and action of the poetic text as it combines black-and-white with color.”

The Brown Bookshelf
“The pairing of this author and artist was brilliant!”