Not-quite-fourteen-year-old Wendy doesn't care one bit about being popular like her classmates Tookie and the Sticks. That is, until Brainiac bully John-Monster schemes against her, and someone leaves anonymous sticky-note messages all over school. Even her best friend is hiding something. While juggling divorced parents, caring for abandoned puppies, and trying to make the high school track team, who has time to play detective?
A gentle crossover book especially for pre- and early teen gals. Tastefully addresses topics such as bullying, eating disorders, divorce, suicide. For both mainstream and religious audiences, and should be suitable for all but the most prudish Christian reader. Family-friendly-young-teen. PYP-rated PG for thematic elements. Religious content: offhand.
"BIRD FACE is the story of the awkward and somewhat shy, Wendy, who has a beautiful best friend ... a school bully she refers to as John-Monster, and a secret friend who offers encouragement with mysterious yellow sticky notes. ...[A] pleasure to read because it gets back to the basics, and the simple insecurities we've all faced .... ...direct and realistic dialogue, the innocence and sweetness was refreshing. ...a fabulously sweet debut, and a recommended read. Bravo, Ms. Toney!" ~Lee Ann Ward, author of There in the Moon Mist and Once Wayward
"...Cynthia Toney takes all the angst of a girl on the cusp of high school and wraps it in an endearing package, one that is filled with true-life emotion and humor. When I finished reading this story, my only thought was this book must be published. ...will resonate with everyone who reads it-adult or teen." ~Fay Lamb, editor for Pelican Book Group, Inc.
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.45(d)|
About the Author
She has a passion for rescuing dogs and studying the history of the South, where she resides with her husband and as many dogs as space will allow.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Cynthia Toney's debut novel Bird Face addresses tough topics such as divorce, alcoholism, eating disorders, bullying, and teen suicide. Yet the book is so full of hope it never comes across as depressing. Between Wendy's witty observations, the quirky characters, and crazy situations that can only happen to junior high kids, the book is quite humorous. With me, character is king. Often junior high stories feature secondary characters that are 1-dimensional. That's not the case with Bird Face. Cynthia has crafted each character to be unique. While you couldn't pay me to relive those days, I loved journeying through Wendy's experience and remembering all of those awkward moments that can only happen in junior high.
Thirteen-year-old Wendy Robichaud has a lot going on in her life. She's quiet and artistic, but usually lets her own talents takes a second seat behind her ballerina of a best friend Jennifer. Wendy's parents have divorced, and her dad's remarried. She may not care that much that she's not popular like Tookie and the Sticks, but she does care when a brainiac named John bullies her with taunts of "Bird Face" because of her beak-like nose. And she does wonder who's been leaving yellow sticky notes for her. Add to all that, preparations for a spring arts program, caring for a bunch of abandoned puppies, and trying out for the school track team, and Wendy's going to have her hands full as she makes the transition from eighth grade to high school. I found this to be a very sweet and often humorous look at growing up in the face of bullying and trying to figure out what constitutes a good and valid friendship. Wendy struggles with issues lots of middle school students do, and Ms. Toney tackles these issues in a realistic yet funny way (Seriously, I think Tookie and the Sticks needs to be the name of a band!). Throughout the story, we get a few glimpses into how Wendy's Catholic faith is helping to guide her through the murky waters of early adolescence. One moment I found particularly humorous was when Wendy is helping her mom with some laundry, and she accidentally gets a towel snagged on a glass parrot her mom had "rescued" during a roadside scavenger hunt. Wendy's reaction made me laugh: "Oh. . . .!" I clamped my lips together, having made a promise to Father Gerard at my last confession not to cuss. Lots of Christian authors find various ways to get around the swearing, but I liked how Ms. Toney handled it by acknowledging that a lot of young teens would be tempted to let a little swear slip, but still have her character be a girl trying to doing the right thing.