Birds of the Air

Ray Salisbury, Author Trafalgar Square Publishing $19.95 (258p) ISBN 978-0-233-98187-1
With tenderness and a depth of perception that authentically mirrors the insights of childhood, Salisbury ( When the Boys Come Out to Play ) chronicles the joys and uncertainties of nine-year-old Simon Wilson's life. There is a dreamlike quality to Simon's first-person narrative: whether he is playing a tough game of cricket or searching for jackdaws in the woods with his father, a disembodied Simon hovers near, evaluating and commenting. Because he truly loves his family, gently stroking the papery cheeks of Old Gran, his great-grandmother, or absorbing family history from his grandfather, he wants for their sake to be good. In the midst of uncontrollable mischief, he prays to God to make him stopor at least not to let his family know that he's the culprit. Constantly told that he has the face of an angelthe reason, probably, that the girls he's just beginning to notice readily respondhe would gladly exchange his beauty for the brains of his Uncle Steven, who was killed in the war. As Simon develops, so does the reader's involvement with him and with the fully fleshed, memorable characters who people this warm, entrancing novel. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 07/01/1988
Release date: 07/01/1988
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