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Strange Birds by Cecelia Perez

February 3, 2021

Ofelia Castillio: a journalist in training. Cat Garcia: an animal activist. Aster Douglas: the gifted baker. Lane Distani: the lonely artist. It all starts with a note, stuffed into three random backpacks. These mysterious, anonymous letters guide Cat, Ofelia, and Aster into the backyard of Lane’s lavish mansion. The recipients follow their instructions up the rickety ladder and into the artist’s treehouse. After a few introductions and explanations, the girls form their own troop, attempting to stop the use of a feathered hat in Cat’s former Girl Scout troop, the Floras. The four new friends journey through the streets of Sabal Palms, Florida, bringing awareness to the mistreatment of birds. What will these twelve-year-old girls have to do in order to stop the Floras? What measures will these outcasts take? 

In Strange Birds, Cecilia Perez creates four remarkable characters, each with her own view of life. Even though these girls are as different as can be, that won’t stop them from fighting for what’s right. Each chapter is full of new possibilities and plot twists as the girls discover adventure around every corner. Whether it’s sticking fifty plastic flamingos in the Floras’ front lawn or stickering Brownie boxes with their motto, “Return the Feathers”. 

Perez writes in third person, with the chapters alternating among the four girls. As I was reading, I noticed that the pace was quite quick, and I had to slow myself down so I could enjoy all of the small details she included.  The book is written in a friendly tone that will make the reader fall in love with the characters. With their differing personalities, anyone could recognize themselves in one of the four girls. 

Bird cruelty is hardly ever talked about, especially in books. Perez blended real-life problems with the events of her fictional characters’ lives seamlessly. Writing about such a broad subject isn’t easy, but I loved how she used four twelve-year-olds to express her feelings and bring awareness to a big problem at the same time.

I would rate this book a ten out of ten for its diverse characters and captivating plot line. Readers of all ages will connect to each and every one of the characters—because we are all Strange Birds.

Sarah

Kolika, 350 pages


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