Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 922
moving and poignant
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
THE BLACK FLAMINGO is a beautifully composed and poignant book of poetry. The poetry chronicles the life of Michael, who is mixed race and gay in a world (our current world) where neither is easy. Through his life, we see the challenges and the double standards that appear from a young age. The poetry talks about the standards for masculinity and femininity as he looks at his younger sister who can play with his toys and wear his hand-me-down clothes, but he cannot play with a Barbie out in the world or wear dresses.

He also examines the feeling of being mixed race, and how he does not seem to fit into the groups society places on him. He appears Black, but even among Black people, he is not accepted in the same way. People also frequently make judgments about him based on his appearance, and this is a theme throughout, said poignantly through poems.

Sexuality is another difficult situation, where he faces homophobia from friends, family, and bullies at school. The courage that he has to allow himself to be who he is shines through the pages, and also the challenges that come from it.

What I loved: This book speaks to the soul. The poetry is so beautiful and heartfelt. Michael really leaps off the pages as someone trying to find his own way in life and the people who will be his "group." This book will certainly resonate with readers for its clarity and truths. I would certainly recommend this to everyone. Dean Atta has something to say, and it's really important.

Final verdict: Moving and powerful, THE BLACK FLAMINGO is a story told through poetry that is worth a read and a reread. Highly recommend picking this one up for its important messages and the beautiful way in which it conveys a life.
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