The Language of Seabirds

Scholastic. Jul. 2022. 256p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781338753738.
Gr 6 Up–Jeremy is being forced to spend two weeks on the Oregon coast with his dad and his uncle as his mom moves out of the house due to his parents’ divorce. Jeremy has recently discovered his interest in boys and hopes to keep it a secret while trying to figure out where he belongs in his new family dynamic. When he arrives at the coast and sees Evan running on the beach, his summer and his life are changed forever. As the two boys grow closer, they use the language of birds, words they associate with different types of birds, to communicate and express their feelings. Readers will empathize with Jeremy as he hides his true self and deals with his dad’s erratic behavior and the divorce. Jeremy’s father uses drinking as a coping mechanism, which causes Jeremy to take on the parental role at times and out himself before he is ready. Character development is excellent, and the boys’ romance is tender and will resonate with young readers. The narrative shows how though a relationship may not be permanent, the personal growth and journey are important regardless of whether there is a happily ever after.
VERDICT An atmospheric LGBTQIA+ romance perfect for all middle grade and young adult collections.

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