How Wendy Redbird Dancing Survived the Dark Ages of Nought

Lyn Fairchild Hawks. Lyn Hawks (lyn-hawks.com), $10.99 paper (284p) ISBN 978-0-9888837-2-7
It’s 2009, and high school senior Wendy Redbird Dancing has just moved from California to a small North Carolina town, thanks to her hippie mother’s latest whim (i.e. love interest). Between her mixed ethnicity (her father was Zuni) and her Michael Jackson obsession, Wendy is a perennial outsider. Bullied by a classmate, she falls in with two African-American kids at school who see her sarcastic wit and M.J.-inspired wardrobe as signs of levelheadedness. Wendy’s primary sources of solace are a promised trip to see Michael Jackson in concert in London and the attention she receives from her mother’s new boyfriend, but when that attention turns sexual in nature, she faces a crisis. In her first novel, Hawks creates a complex and passionate renegade in Wendy. While a number of traumatizing events arrive in quick succession and threaten to overwhelm the plot (though upsetting to Wendy, Jackson’s death ends up getting lost in the shuffle), it remains a compassionate story about finding the right people (and music) when you don’t fit in. Ages 14–up. (BookLife)
Reviewed on: 05/04/2015
Release date: 03/01/2013
Genre: Children's
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