Rummanah Aasi
 Jeremy is not excited about the prospect of spending the summer with his dad and his uncle in a seaside cabin in Oregon. It's the first summer after his parents' divorce, and he hasn't exactly been seeking alone time with his dad. He doesn't have a choice, though, so he goes and on his first day takes a walk on the beach and finds himself intrigued by a boy his age running by. Eventually, he and Runner Boy (Evan) meet--and what starts out as friendship blooms into something neither boy is expecting.

Review: The Language of Seabirds is a quiet, tender story that looks into how relationships change-for better or for worse. Told primarily through the point of view of Jeremy, we follow him as he and dad spend their summer at a seaside cabin in Oregon. Jeremy's parents have recently divorced and this summer allows his dad to try to get a fresh new start. This summer also brings on new stress for Jeremy as he navigates his big feelings, a new discovery that he's gay, and try to figure out how to adapt to his dad's mood swings. There is a lot unsaid about Jeremy's father from his erratic disciplinary rules to Jeremy noticing a lot of empty beer cans around the cabin. I would have liked to have this aspect of the story developed a bit more. 
  Jeremy is a sweet, earnest tween who is trying his best to make the most of his summer. Luckily, he finds solace and companionship with another tween, Evan, who is a runner and shares his interest in learning about birds. I loved watching Jeremy and Evan's relationship grow and creating a new language in which they can communicate their emotions and they can exclusively understand. I appreciated that the author allowed these two tweens to explore their big emotions and find solace in one another without any fall-outs, backlash, or negative repercussions by others around them. I also learned a lot about the different types of seabirds. 
Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: There are allusions to Jeremy's father's spiral into alcoholism including a loud, drunk argument in a restaurant which forces Jeremy to come out. Recommended for Grades 5 and up.

If you like this book try: Thanks a lot, Universe by Chad Lucas
1 Response
  1. This sounds like a good book with a setting that is quite different from the norm of middle grade books.

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