The Someday Birds

–Winner of The Dolly Gray Award for 2018

You can order a signed, personalized copy from one of my local indie bookstores by calling 858-454-0347 or 858-268-4747!

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 far away for 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 predictable.

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.

Dear Friends,

When my three boys were younger, we took lots of summer road trips in our old minivan. They weren’t always easy for my autistic middle son, who didn’t like the change, strange foods, and constant motion.

So we’d try to make things as smooth as possible. For instance, we’d always eat at places that served his preferred food — because, as he once put it: “I figure you can survive pretty much anything, as long as you can order the chicken nuggets.”

With that, a story idea hatched in my brain.

The Someday Birds is my own neurodiverse heart-gift to kids who are different, kids put in tough situations, kids dragged into journeys they don’t want. It’s about self-acceptance, about learning how to feel more at ease in the world. There’s humor, and heartache, and birds, lots of birds. (Charlie adores birds, and fervently believes that learning bird-behavior is the ultimate key to understanding human behavior.)

I’m so proud to share this book about a lively, flighty family. It’s available at Indiebound, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Target,, Powells, among other places.

~ Sally


To purchase THE SOMEDAY BIRDS in Spanish (ALGUN DIA VOLAREMOS,) visit Libros de Seda of Barcelona or Lectorum.Com or Amazon.

Praise for The Someday Birds

“…Captures both the literal and figurative meanings of journey.” — Starred Review, Publishers Weekly

“Pla gives us a memorable hero in this lyrical and funny book.” — Starred Review, Shelf Awareness

“Like a harbinger of spring flitting through a gray sky, The Someday Birds is a welcome arrival.” FIVE STARS, COMMONSENSE MEDIA

“Hopeful, authentic, and oddly endearing.” — Kirkus Reviews

“A delight from beginning to end.” — Booklist

“…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… A strong addition to most middle grade collections.” — School Library Journal

“…Has all of the possible/impossible elements of successful middle-grade fiction. ” — Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“A raw, funny road trip story that reminds us that even the most literal-minded people can occasionally be sucker-punched by a miracle.” —

“A triumphant debut with the resonance and depth of an instant classic. ” — Nerdy Book Club

“This novel is a treasure!” — Children’s Books Heal

“You’ll want to come along for the heartwarming and humorous ride.” — Booklist Reader

“Readers young and old will love Charlie and his tale of the Someday Birds.” — Middle Grade Mafia

“A truly wonderful, unique story… 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

“What a feat! Delivering a novel in the voice of a boy on the Aspergers/Autism/OCD scale that lets the reader see the world from his point of view, and also interpret the emotions and actions of those around him (when he often can’t). Impressive.”


— A Junior Library Guild Selection for 2017 —

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