What if you lived in a world where trees were rare? Where there were some places where ordinary wildlife like frogs didn't exist? Nature seems to be a myth as the land is just like the desert. No signs of life, of green vitality, exist anywhere. What would you do? Would you be satsifed living a life without knowing what a tree looks like? Or would you try to bring life back to a barren wasteland?
I read... A Bird on Water Street by Elizabeth O. Dulemba
Pub. Date: May 7th, 2014
A Bird on Water Street is a coming of age story about Jack, a boy growing up in a Southern Appalachian town environmentally devastated by a century of poor copper-mining practices and pollution. Jack is opposed to the mine where so many of his relatives have died, but how can he tell that to his Dad who wants him to follow in the family trade? Jack just wants his dad safe and the land returned to its pre-mining glory with trees, birds, frogs, and nature—like he’s learning about in school. After Jack’s uncle is killed in a mining accident and the Company implements a massive layoff, the union organizes and the miners go on strike. It seems Jack’s wish is coming true. But the cost may be the ruin of his home and everything he loves.
My rating: 5 out of 5 frogs!
My recommendation: Anyone who likes dystopian novels about a boy trying to follow his dreams!
My copy was provided by Netgalley.
Jack lives in a world where nature has been ravaged by pollution. The land is a wasteland with no signs of life. Jack has never even seen a frog; the only reason why Jack knows what a frog is is because he's learning about them in school. Jack wants to go out and experience nature. He wants to bring life back to the land, but he's stuck in his hometown where he will probably become a miner. But being a miner is a dangerous job as multiple people are killed every year.
When the miners go on strike after massive layoffs, Jack's wish might have just come true. But now his family is running out of money and people are leaving town to find jobs. Jack might lose his friends, his home, and everything he's ever believed in.
I really enjoyed this book. At first, I expected this book to be a kind of lecture where it warned you about the dangers of harming the environment and how people are killing the earth. Yet the story isn't just about nature. It's about Jack and his feelings, his dreams and how he tries to chase them even when everyone is against them.
The main theme of this book is to show how bad mining is and the dangers of it. It's also creating the message that you should care for the environment or the environment will be gone forever. But the book isn't just about that. It's about Jack's story.
Jack wants to be a forest ranger when there isn't a forest. He doesn't want to go underground and probably die down there without ever experiencing what it's really like to be out in the middle of nature, surrounded by life. No matter what happens, he never gives up on his dreams, he never gives up on becoming what he has always wanted. Jack was a strong, courageous character that I immediately adored. I also liked how the author made Jack really seem like a real fourteen year old boy.
Jack thought about dirt bikes and he was crushing on his friend's sister. Jack's emotions were very real, even his anguish and his rage. They didn't feel artificial. I felt like Jack was real, that he was actually experiencing these events as I read them.
The setting of this book that real and was beautifully written. I could picture the Southern Appalachian town in my mind. This book made me realize just what it would be like without nature. I looked outside and I imagined what Coppertown looked like: a barren wasteland.
This book really came alive as I read it and I definitely want to read more from Dulemba.