Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A Song for Bijou by Josh Farrar

from goodreads: Life for Alex Schrader has never involved girls. He goes to an all-boys prep school and spends most of his time goofing around with his friends. But all that changes the first time he meets Bijou Doucet, a Haitian girl recently relocated to Brooklyn after the earthquake-and he is determined to win her heart. For Bijou, change is the only constant, and she's surprised every day by how different life is in America, especially when a boy asks her out. Alex quickly learns that there are rules when it comes to girls-both in Haitian culture and with his own friends. And Bijou soon learns that she doesn't have to let go of her roots to find joy in her new life. 

This is a very sweet story. It's a story about friendship and respect-one that any age can easily identify with. I liked that the chapters alternate between Alex and Bijou to show how different a situation can look from a new perspective. 

I liked the multi-culturism of this book and the new facts I learned about Haiti and its people. I admired Alex and his courage to not only to learn about a new culture, but jump right in and embrace it. I liked that the characters comment on their differences, but then learned about the things they have in common. A big thing that brought them all together was music. I liked that the book showed how music can bridge all cultures, and showed how an American song can be played with a Haitian beat. 

My only hang-up (and it's a small one) with this book is the age of the characters. They're in seventh grade, but, to me, they act a few years older. My son is in seventh grade, and I couldn't quite picture him being girl-crazy enough to go to such lengths to spend time with a girl. Maybe when he is in ninth grade, but not seventh. That being said, I loved that this book showed what kind of boys (gentlemen) that girls really respond to, and what kind they don't. 

I really enjoyed that these main characters were presented as good, honest kids. They did make a few mistakes, but for the most part, really cared about the feelings of their friends and families. 

Rating: 4
Published: 2.2013

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