Friday, July 10, 2015

Blog Tour - Sleeping With The Blackbirds

Sleeping with the Blackbirds by Alex Pearl
Publisher - Pen Press
Publish Date - 9/10/11
Genre - Young Adult Fiction
Buy on Amazon

My Rating:


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Author Bio:

Who is Alex Pearl?

It's a question I often ask myself. Well, basically I'm a short-sighted bloke aged 50, which I suppose is pretty old really. And for 27 years I have worked at various advertising agencies and marketing
companies as something called a copywriter. This means I have to sit in an office and write the
words that appear in adverts, leaflets and letters. It's a funny old job. Sometimes it can be fun when,
for instance, you have to make a TV or radio commercial. But this doesn't happen very often. At
other times it can be rather dull and frustrating when a client rejects your work that you created and
insists that you do something far less interesting.

Outside work I'm a husband and a dad, and I live in North West London with my wife and two
children. We don't have any animals in our house but we do see lots of birds in our garden. And yes,
we do have a bird table, but only the one, and this is usually attacked by the squirrels before any
bird can get to it.

About Sleeping with the Blackbirds:

Eleven-year-old schoolboy, Roy Nuttersley has been dealt a pretty raw deal. While hideous parents show him precious little in the way of love and affection, school bullies make his life a misery. So Roy takes comfort in looking after the birds in his suburban garden, and in return the birds hatch a series of ambitious schemes to protect their new friend.

As with the best-laid plans, however, these get blown completely off course - and as a result the lives of both Roy and his arch tormentor, Harry Hodges are turned upside down. While Harry has a close encounter with God, Roy embarks on a voyage of discovery that draws in and impacts on everyone around him, including the local police, his headmaster and the national media. Where will it all end, and will life ever be quite the same for Roy Nuttersley?

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When I first started reading Sleeping with the Blackbirds, I had a hard time getting behind the characters and the plot line. Roy's "hideous" parents and unfortunate circumstances really didn't make me gasp or feel for Roy very much. I made myself take a step back though and remember that this book is written for children. With that new mentality, I tried it over again.

Once I kept the audience in mind, the book really came to life for me. Roy is a very real, lovable character. His struggles with his bully and his tough home life are unfortunately, incredibly relateable topics for children nowadays. Roy's garden, birdhouses and resident birds offer Roy a much needed oasis. Pearl does a wonderful job of weaving a fairy tale story with real life themes such as abusive parents, bullying and homelessness. With such an engaging plot, children will be drawn in to the story and not even realize what they are learning about human relationships.

This is a wonderful book to let your children read on their own, or even read aloud with them. It's full of fun, imaginative images that come alive through Pearl's writing. And, the story is just long enough to make sure all the loose ends are tied up nicely at the end.