I loved every moment of reading about hand washing, chicken nugget eating, bird obsessed Charlie, his family and their zany cross country road trip in search of "someday birds" after their father's accident in Afghanistan. A staggeringly honest read, perfect for fans of Counting by 7s and Wonder.
— Martha Cornwell
Winner of the 2018 Dolly Gray Children's Literature Award * Two starred reviews * A New York Public Library Best Kids Book of 2017 * A Bank Street Best Children's Book of 2017 * Wisconsin Library Association CBA Outstanding Books of the Year selection * 2018-2019 Dorothy Canfield Fisher Book Award list selection * 2018-2019 Maryland Black-Eyed Susan Award nominee *
The Someday Birds is a debut middle grade novel perfect for fans of Counting by 7s and Fish in a Tree, filled with humor, heart, and chicken nuggets.
Charlie’s perfectly ordinary life has been unraveling ever since his war journalist father was injured in Afghanistan.
When his father heads from California to Virginia for medical treatment, Charlie reluctantly travels cross-country with his boy-crazy sister, unruly brothers, and a mysterious new family friend. He decides that if he can spot all the birds that he and his father were hoping to see someday along the way, then everything might just turn out okay.
Debut author Sally J. Pla has written a tale that is equal parts madcap road trip, coming-of-age story for an autistic boy who feels he doesn’t understand the world, and an uplifting portrait of a family overcoming a crisis.
“Offering a mixture of suspense, mystery, tragedy and humor, Pla’s story captures both the literal and figurative meanings of journey.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Pla gives us a memorable hero in this lyrical and funny book.” —Shelf Awareness (starred review)
About the Author
Sally J. Pla is the author of The Someday Birds (her debut novel) and Stanley Will Probably Be Fine. She has traveled on family road trips to most everywhere in this story. She has English degrees from Colgate and Penn State and has worked as a business journalist and in public education. She has three sons, a husband, and an enormous, fluffy dog and lives near lots of lemon trees in Southern California. You can visit her online at www.sallyjpla.com.
“Sally J. Pla does a wonderful job of weaving humor and humanity into this tale of one boy’s triumph.” — Cammie McGovern, author of JUST MY LUCK and SAY WHAT YOU WILL
“Sally J. Pla’s heartwarming debut novel zings with humor, spot-on characters, and a poignant exploration of the effects of war.” — Edith Hope Fine, author of UNDER THE LEMON MOON
“A truly wonderful, unique story. This celebration of family, individuality, and nature will remind you to always be on the lookout for wonder.” — Wendy Mass, New York Times best-selling author of THE CANDYMAKERS
“Achingly real...Charlie’s unique voice and his quest to understand the world around him will resonate with readers dealing with their own pain. Hopeful, authentic, and oddly endearing.” — Kirkus Reviews
★ “Offering a mixture of suspense, mystery, tragedy and humor, Pla’s story captures both the literal and figurative meanings of journey.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“A delight from beginning to end.” — Booklist
“Readers will genuinely be captivated and touched by Charlie’s soft and sensitive demeanor and amused by his ponderous exploits across the country. A strong addition to most middle grade collections.” — School Library Journal
“This has all of the possible/impossible elements of successful middle-grade fiction...Readers who enjoyed Sloan’s Counting by 7s (BCCB 9/13) will be the ideal audience for this. ” — Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“The Someday Birds is a raw, funny road trip story that reminds us that even the most literal-minded people can occasionally be sucker-punched by a miracle.” — BookPage.com
“A triumphant debut with the resonance and depth of an instant classic. ” — Nerdy Book Club
★ “Pla gives us a memorable hero in this lyrical and funny book.” — Shelf Awareness (starred review)
“[A] colorful adventure with a lot of heart...Like a harbinger of spring flitting through a gray sky, The Someday Birds is a welcome arrival.” — Common Sense Media