Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Girl Who Fell From The Sky Heidi W. Durrow

The Girl Who Fell From The Sky by Heidi W. Durrow
This is Durrow's novel debut and the 2008 Bellwether Prize winner. This is a coming of age story of Rachel Morse, a brown skinned, blue eyed girl. Rachel's dad is a Black G.I. and her mom is Danish. After her parents divorce, the mom moves the family to Chicago.

Its 1982, 11 yr old Rachel is dealing with the tragic loss of her mom and siblings. She moves in with her grandmother (dad's mom ) in Texas. Everything begins to change. Around her parents, Rachel always knew who she was.

Now, Rachel is continuously questioned about who or what she is. People are always comment on her blue eyes. The Black girls in class ignore and threaten her. Rachel's grandmother tells to stay out of the sun, so she won't get any darker.

There is a wonderful smoothness to Durrow's writing style. I loved many things about it, including her ability to get across Rachel trying to come to terms with how the world sees her.
The chapters alternate between Rachel, Brick a boy who witnessed the tragic event in Chicago, and Laronne, the mom's former boss. Through these characters, we learn what led up to the tragic event in Chicago. The Girl Who Fell From the Sky is very well done and beautifully sad at times. Rachel Morse is going to stay with me for long time.

In the future other characters will be compared to Rachel Morse. Hopefully sooner rather than later. The world needs more three dimensional mixed raced characters, that deal with identity. This novel could have easily been classifiled as Young Adult. It would make a wonderful book club selection. There are many themes to be discussed including race, culture, identity, and love. Ages 15up


Jeannine said...

Can't wait. It is on hold for me at the library.

Doret said...

Jeannine its so good.

Jenny said...

I keep seeing this at the bookshop and it looks fantastic. Glad to know it's as good as it sounds!