Charlie wishes his life could be as predictable and simple as chicken nuggets.
And it usually is. He has his clean room, his carefully organized bird books and art supplies, his favorite foods, and comfortable routines.
But life has been unraveling since his war journalist father was injured in Afghanistan. And when Dad gets sent from California to Virginia for further medical treatment, Charlie must travel cross-country to meet him. With his boy-crazy sister Davis, his unruly twin brothers, and the mysterious Ludmila at the wheel, this journey looks to be anything but smooth.
So Charlie decides that if he can spot all the birds that he and his father had been hoping to see in the wild, someday, and show that list to Dad, then maybe, just maybe, things will turn out okay.
Debut author Sally J. Pla has written a young person’s novel that is equal parts madcap road trip, coming-of-age story for a highly unusual boy, and uplifting portrait of a family overcoming a crisis.
Praise for The Someday Birds
A Junior Library Guild Selection for Winter 2017
“Offering a mixture of suspense, mystery, tragedy and humor, Pla’s story captures both the literal and figurative meanings of journey. — Publishers Weekly starred review
“Hopeful, authentic, and oddly endearing.” — Kirkus Reviews
“A delight from beginning to end.” — Booklist
“A truly wonderful, unique story. This celebration of family, individuality, and nature will remind you to always be on the lookout for wonder.” — Wendy Mass, New York Times best-selling author of THE CANDYMAKERS
“Sally J. Pla does a wonderful job of weaving humor and humanity into this tale of one boy’s triumph.”
— Cammie McGovern, author of JUST MY LUCK and SAY WHAT YOU WILL
“Sally J. Pla’s heartwarming debut novel zings with humor, spot-on characters, and a poignant exploration of the effects of war.” — Edith Hope Fine, author of UNDER THE LEMON MOON
“Readers will genuinely be captivated and touched by Charlie’s soft and sensitive demeanor and amused by his ponderous exploits across the country. A strong addition to most middle grade collections.” — School Library Journal
“This has all of the possible/impossible elements of successful middle-grade fiction…Readers who enjoyed Sloan’s Counting by 7s (BCCB 9/13) will be the ideal audience for this. ” — Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“While it has an autistic protagonist, this is not a book “about” autism. Rather, through Charlie’s observations of the birds, his family, and society, the novel explores how war affects the young people touched by it, and how diverse experiences, talents, and perspectives can draw us closer and help us heal from trauma.” — Lyn Miller Lachman, author of ROGUE