Bird With the Heart of a Mountain

Bird With the Heart of a Mountain

3.0 2
by Barbara Mariconda
     
 

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I throw back my tumble of black hair, roll one bare shoulder forward, then the other. The stack of bangles on each wrist shimmies and slides as my hands rise like birds in flight.

Set during the turmoil of the Spanish Civil War, sixteen-year-old Drina yearns to dance Flamenco. When she dances, she forgets who she is. She forgets what seems to be her legacy

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Overview

I throw back my tumble of black hair, roll one bare shoulder forward, then the other. The stack of bangles on each wrist shimmies and slides as my hands rise like birds in flight.

Set during the turmoil of the Spanish Civil War, sixteen-year-old Drina yearns to dance Flamenco. When she dances, she forgets who she is. She forgets what seems to be her legacy: I am nothing. I belong nowhere. Why does her mother forbid her to dance, the very thing that makes her feel alive? She wonders about the secrets her mother holds, about the rumored life she had before Drina was born—a story that somehow still holds them both prisoner.

From the wandering Gypsy campagne to the vineyard estate of a paternal grandmother she has never known and the dance halls of Seville where Flamenco reigns, Drina fights to discover who she is and where she belongs. Not quite Gypsy, not quite Spanish, she must carve out an identity all her own and discover what it means to be a bird with the heart of a mountain

Full of mystery, loss and longing, this powerful novel brilliantly captures a young girl’s yearning and her adventurous journey to discover her true home.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
01/27/2014
Opening in Andalusia, Spain, in 1936, Mariconda's (The Voyage of Lucy P. Simmons) romance follows 16-year-old Drina, a passionate flamenco dancer in a war-torn country. She dances to feel beautiful and proud, to release resentment, and to transcend the stereotypes that accompany her mixed heritage—Drina is half-Spanish and half-Romany (though the author uses the term "gypsy" throughout). Beyond dance, Drina's second passion is for a falconer, Boldo, with whom she hopes to elope. When Drina's mother is raped by a soldier, becomes pregnant, and dies shortly after giving birth (first uttering Drina's absent father's name), Drina is left alone to care for the baby and seek her father. But a Gadje outsider kidnaps the baby, which propels Drina's journey all the way to Sevilla. Mariconda takes her time with the visceral and dramatic descriptions of Drina's inner life and threads Spanish and Romany vocabulary throughout her story. A sensual portrait of a young woman with dance in her blood and fire in her soul, who moves beyond the need for approval to discover her individuality. Ages 14–up. Agent: Josh Adams, Adams Literary. (Jan.)
School Library Journal
04/01/2014
Gr 8 Up—Set in a 1936 Spain divided by civil war, in which the Republicans side with the poor and Communist Russia and the Nationalists side with the rich and Fascist Germany, this novel centers on 16-year-old Drina, who is also caught between two sides of herself. Half-Spanish and half-Gypsy, the teen doesn't quite fit in her nomadic community and yearns for a place to belong. She escapes in the rhythm and the power of dance, despite her mother's aversion to it. Tragedy strikes and Drina loses her people, mother, and newborn little sister one fateful night. In an attempt to rescue the baby from the Spanish kidnappers, she comes into contact with her father's wealthy family and is tentatively accepted by them—especially because of her raw talent as a flamenco dancer. Eventually, she is called to dance for General Franco himself. Mariconda's sumptuous writing draws readers into Drina's story—and teens will connect with the protagonists' ache to find a place in the world. The historical background isn't seamlessly incorporated and sometimes feels like an interruption instead of fully realized backdrop. Readers might begin to tire at the fact that every man who encounters the ingénue falls in desperate love with her. However, the vibrant descriptions of Drina's performances will enchant them, and the complex decisions she faces as her loyalties and dreams are tested will have them rooting for the dancer's happy ending. Unresolved threads suggest that a sequel is in the works, and fans of historical fiction and dance novels will be back for Drina's encore.—Shelley Diaz, School Library Journal

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781477817339
Publisher:
Amazon Childrens Publishing
Publication date:
01/14/2014
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
707,744
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.40(d)
Lexile:
HL650L (what's this?)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

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