Bird by Zetta Elliott is about a young boy who expresses himself and the world around him through his drawings. While he is still developing his skills as an artist, Bird has a method for coping with the brutal family issues he has experienced.
Bird could be any child who has experienced the loss of a loved one to drug abuse. This story is significant because this protagonist has a voice that is innocent and hopeful; making a tragic situation uplifting. Without being too graphic, the author does not shy away from the issues that families face with loved ones who are addicted to drugs.
The illustrations in this book helps to deliver the message of a mature nature to a young audience. Through Sandra Strickland's drawings, we see into Birds imagination. We see memories of experiences that he never wants to forget. Most importantly, we journey through Bird’s coming of age in the most intimate way.
While Bird is a fictional character, it is not unfeasible to imagine that in some city in America, this child exists. That knowledge brings this story to life. What’s rewarding is the hope that remains for Bird’s future despite the grief that he has experienced. Zetta Elliott and Shandra Strickland give readers a look at the world from one child’s perspective. Reading Bird was both heartbreaking and inspirational. There is so much truth in this story, I would recommend it to those interested in realistic fiction for young readers.