DR. BIRD’S ADVICE FOR SAD POETS was a wonderful, refreshing surprise. James Whitman is battling depression. His abusive father has just kicked James’s older sister, Jorie, out of the house when she’s expelled from school, and when he refuses to pay for James to see a therapist, James finds his own manners of coping. Mainly, talking to a pigeon outside his window (Dr. Bird), quoting Walt Whitman, and hugging trees. As James tries to make sense of Jorie’s fate, he realizes he may share many of his sister’s self-destructive tendencies.
James’s voice is authentic and humorous. He reminds me a bit of Charlie (The Perks of Being a Wallflower
). In his confusion and anxiety, he sometimes comes across sounding young and lost. Other moments he’s incredibly insightful, striking a chord with the reader. This book perfectly captures the messiness that is the teenage years, with a tale of anxiety and depression that is not preachy or melodramatic, and yet still moving and heartfelt and honest. And funny
. For all the darkness in this story, I still managed to laugh throughout. This novel is a timeless read that I imagine will help many kids struggling with similar issues no longer feel quiet so alone.
Originally posted here