If you could live in any time period,
which would you choose and why?
I would choose this moment. Hands down. Every time. I love to get lost in history, but I’m firmly aware I’m not cut out to live in another era. Give me my central heating and indoor plumbing and contact lenses. I’m happy to visit other time periods from the comfort of my couch.
Right now, though, I’m wrapped up in the Klondike Gold Rush. If I were heartier and braver and had no problem with sub-freezing temperatures, I’d love to travel back to 1896 -1897 and see the frenzy that unfolded in Canada’s Yukon Territory firsthand.
Of the 100,000 Stampeders who set out for the Klondike, thirty to forty thousand reached Dawson City, the community that sprang up at the mouth of the Yukon and Klondike rivers after gold was discovered nearby. About twenty thousand of those who made it to Dawson tried looking for gold. Four thousand found it. A few hundred got enough to be considered rich. But only a handful were able to hold onto their wealth.
I’m fascinated that thousands of people who knew nothing about the hard road ahead of them dropped everything and journeyed to the Yukon. Many came ill prepared, bringing too little food, gear, or warm clothing. The enthusiasm, misinformation, and rapid ability to relay information through newspapers combined to build the crazy known as “KIondicitis”. Goofy rumors abounded: You could bike the thousands of miles to Dawson City (forget the treacherous climbs, foul weather, and rushing rivers). Gold grew on bushes and was there for the picking. And most misleading, everyone who made it to the Klondike was sure to strike it rich.
I’d like to spy on Jefferson “Soapy” Smith, a con-man in Skagway, Alaska, who swindled, tricked, and robbed unsuspecting Stampeders as they were passing through. I’d love to see the never-ending chain of people climbing over the Chilkoot Pass’s Golden Staircase — steps carved into ice that men, women, and even children trudged up for days and weeks and months, until they’d finally carried their ton of goods safely into Canada.
What would it be like to wander the muddy streets of Dawson, where the knighted and the nameless were suddenly on equal footing? Wouldn’t it be fun to catch a glimpse of Skookum Jim and George Carmack with their nugget belt buckles the size of supper plates? What would those lonely claims be like a few months into darkest winter?
I’d love to experience the Klondike myself, if only for a moment. Wrapped in an enormous parka, of course.
When I heard about this book I was so curious. But also nervous because I haven't really read any books told in verse before. But oh, I didn't have to worry. Because I found Blue Birds to be all kinds of gorgeous. The writing is so pretty. And I loved the way it is told. Though there is often so little text on each page. Sniffs. So these four hundred pages went by too fast. Wishing this book had been longer. But I also thought it was perfect the way it was. I'm giving this book four stars. I really enjoyed reading this.
How to begin talking about it, though, I am not sure. Blue Birds is told from the point of view of Alis and Kimi. I adored them both so much. Alis is the English girl, and she's pretty amazing. I loved reading about her and hearing about her missing uncle. Sniffs. And her family too, her new baby brother. She also sort of gets friends with this boy, and oh, I wanted to know more of him. But yeah. Also pretty sad. Mostly I just really adored Alis. I loved what she chose to do at the end the most. She's so very brave.
Then there is Kimi, who has lived on Roanoke her whole life. I loved reading about her so much. Loved getting to know a little bit about how they live, how they dress, and the small things they wear. It was pretty awesome to get to know. Kimi was also such a brave girl and I adored her so much. Reading about how they became friends was my favorite part. It was so sweet and a bit heartbreaking too. I liked it a whole lot. Because they are so cute together. And I wanted them to be together at all times. Sad face.
There is so much happening in this book. Yet I felt like I finished it so fast and I felt like there weren't enough. But at the same time it was so perfect. I'm not sure what to share about this book. I could say forever how much I liked it. But I'm not going to. And I won't talk too much about the plot, so I don't think my review will be all that long. But still hoping I can manage to convince you to read this book. Because this book is for everyone. It's so beautiful. And so heartbreaking. There is a lot of sadness.
Most of Blue Birds focus on the growing friendship between Alis and Kimi. And the things they do together. And how they learn to talk to each other. And how they try to keep each other hidden from their people. I enjoyed reading about it a whole lot. But oh. There is also a lot of sad things going on in this book. Many people die. It's kind of brutal. We learn of the people Kimi have lost. Her father. Her sister. And it broke my heart so much. Yet Kimi is being so strong and I couldn't help but love her. <3
While reading this book I had no idea how it could end happily. I kept expecting such awful things to happen. Yet I never peeked at the ending, which is a first for me. I say it is because it's so short ;p But anyway. I didn't see the ending coming. And that makes me so happy. Because the ending is a bit different. And I really loved it. Though, yeah, it is all kinds of heartbreaking. Yet so perfect too. Though I would love to know a whole lot more. Sigh. But it was still so beautiful. I just loved this book a lot.
I found this book to be so exciting, though a lot of the time not that much happens. And it isn't fully described, with this book being told in verse, yet it is also written really well and I felt like I understood all of it pretty well. Probably. Either way, I really liked the writing. And I really hope Caroline will write more books like this. I loved the time period. And oh, I would really love a sequel or a companion to Blue Birds. Think that would be all kinds of amazing. I'm crossing my fingers. Will read whatever she writes :)
Blue Birds is a book about the friendship between two girls. And it is all kinds of beautiful. I loved reading about how they became friends. What they did to stay together. How the English struggled to settle in their own village. It was all so interesting and exciting. This book was a bit short. And I wish it had been longer. But I also loved it a whole lot. Blue Birds is an amazing book. One I hope everyone will read. Because it is full of truth and heartbreak and beautiful friendship. You must read it. Huge thank you to Rachel at Penguin Young Readers for sending me this book for review. <3 It's precious to me.
It’s 1587 and twelve-year-old Alis has made the long journey with her parents from England to help settle the New World, the land christened Virginia in honor of the Queen. And Alis couldn’t be happier. While the streets of London were crowded and dirty, this new land, with its trees and birds and sky, calls to Alis. Here she feels free. But the land, the island Roanoke, is also inhabited by the Roanoke tribe and tensions between them and the English are running high, soon turning deadly.
Amid the strife, Alis meets and befriends Kimi, a Roanoke girl about her age. Though the two don’t even speak the same language, these girls form a special bond as close as sisters, willing to risk everything for the other. Finally, Alis must make an impossible choice when her family resolves to leave the island and bloodshed behind.
A beautiful, tender story of friendship and the meaning of family, Caroline Starr Rose delivers another historical gem.
Buy Blue Birds: Amazon - B&N - The Book Depository - Indiebound - CDON
Caroline Starr Rose spent her childhood in the deserts of Saudi Arabia and New Mexico, camping at the Red Sea in one and eating red chile in the other. As a girl she danced ballet, raced through books, composed poetry on an ancient typewriter, and put on magic shows in a homemade cape. She’s taught both social studies and English in New Mexico, Florida, Virginia, and Louisiana. In her classroom, she worked to instill in her students a passion for books, an enthusiasm to experiment with words, and a curiosity about the past. Caroline lives in New Mexico with her husband and two sons. She is the author of Blue Birds.
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So glad you really liked this. I have an ARC to give away and can't wait to read it. So excited for Caroline too!ReplyDelete
I so don't think that I would be able to cope within any other time period, I think I rely way to heavily on the things that I take for granted today. But I'd never heard of the Klondike Gold Rush, so thanks for sharing this insightful post with us!ReplyDelete
There are plenty of historical eras I think I'd enjoy for a short time and I'd be really interested in visiting the future as well. To live in another period full-time, that would be tricky since I'm so used to the world we have today. ThanksReplyDelete
Ohhh, what a beautiful idea for a book! So glad to hear you loved it Carina!ReplyDelete
As I really like historical stories and you really liked it, I would love to read it! It sounds quite intriguing. :)ReplyDelete