Extraordinary Birds by Sandy Stark-McGinnis

Hello, Sandy Stark-McGinnis! Thank you for celebrating the cover for Extraordinary Birds with me. What ran through your mind the first time you saw Hari & Deepti’s cover art?

Sandy Start-McGinnis: "Beautiful! They captured December’s story perfectly.” I cannot stop staring at it. 

Please tell us three things about eleven-year-old December.

Sandy: She likes to eat sunflower seeds. She will have to eat a lot, storing energy for when she takes flight.

She’s the perfect balance of toughness and vulnerability.

If she were a bird, she’d be a crow. 

Explore Sandy's website.

How will you celebrate Extraordinary Birds book birthday on April 30, 2019?

Sandy: I will be at work, sharing my love of reading and writing with my fifth grade students. Actually, a wonderful way to celebrate a book! 

Please finish these sentence starters:

I hope Extraordinary Birds reminds readers that we need each other to endure.

Story is a beacon.

School libraries will save the world. When students walk into a school library, they’re walking into a place where they can open a book and have the opportunity to see a character in all of his/her complexities. Experiencing a character’s faults and vulnerabilities deepens a student’s compassion. And, the world needs a lot more compassion. (By the way, why isn’t there a super hero whose day job is being a librarian?)

Mr. Schu, you should have asked me…If you were a bird, what kind of bird would you be? 

Look for Extraordinary Birds on April 30, 2019. 

Eleven-year-old December knows everything about birds, and everything about getting kicked out of foster homes. All she has of her mom is the bird guide she left behind, and a message: "In flight is where you'll find me." December believes she's truly a bird, just waiting for the day she transforms. The scar on her back is where her wings will sprout; she only needs to find the right tree and practice flying.

When she's placed with foster mom Eleanor, who runs a taxidermy business and volunteers at a wildlife rescue, December begins to see what home means in a new light. But the story she’s told herself about her past is what's kept her going this long. Can she learn to let go?


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