Extraordinary Birds by Sandy Stark-McGinnis

This is a moving, heart warming story of a girl who wholeheartedly believes she is meant to fly. It is full of hope and a longing for “home”. 
We meet December in the upper branches of a tree. We see a woman calling her out of the tree and threatening to send her back and we hear December’s thoughts as she recalls her journal entries.  
Life for 11 year old December is hard, she has been abandoned by her mother and struggles with foster homes, not to mention the fact she truly believes she is a bird.  Her journal is filled with glimpses into her past, her beliefs about herself and the waiting for wings to break free.
Eleanor becomes the next foster mum for December and she is different than the others.  She isn’t forcing December to eat human food, or pushing her too far out of her comfort zone.  She rescues animals and knows many facts about birds, although not enough to rival expert December. It is this shared interest where the bond slowly starts to form.  
There is such sadness in December and my heart was breaking every time an entry from her journal was read.  The abandonment and scars on her back, the lack of understanding over both events.  No child deserves this and December deserves so much more. The hope that Eleanor will keep December and give her the “home” she is desperate for kept me reading late into the night and again before work this morning.  Tears silently falling down my cheeks as I saw December with a friend, a mum and a home.  
A wonderful story, perfect for ages 10 and up.  Perfect for anyone who has hopes, dreams and a sense of wonder at the world around them.  I learned so much about birds through reading this.
A stunning book! 

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