When 11-year-old Dmitri (“D”) loses his mother to breast cancer, he finds himself taken in by an elderly white woman, Mrs. Martin. D loves to watch birds and, while in the park, is amazed to find an injured bird that can talk. He takes it home and soon learns there are malevolent forces inhabiting the region beneath Prospect Park and they are hunting for the bird; Nuru is a life force that has been kept hostage by the earthbound spirits who are ghosts of soldiers that died in the Revolutionary War. Nuru’s mission is to guide the ship that will carry the souls of the dead back to her realm. D has been chosen as Nuru’s host, and must carry the bird from Brooklyn to the African Burial Ground in lower Manhattan where the dead await deliverance.
This is a perfect book for Middle School children. There are issues dealt with that most pre-teens deal with. Then there are issues that we all deal with. This story is written in a way that all issues can be dealt with on that age level. There are hardships many of us must face and the main character does a wonderful job of handling them. Life lessons are buried inside a mysterious, action filled storyline. The questions of good vs. bad, and right & wrong are always at the forefront. The story is very detailed to give young readers a better understanding about what exactly is happening. The main character is an intelligent, well mannered, respectful young man. I feel more children should behave in such a brave manner. A really good book.
Reviewer Rating: 4 Stars