May 2019 Children's & YA Lead Titles

Summer Bird Blue Akemi Dawn Bowman

Summer Bird Blue
Akemi Dawn Bowman

From the author of Starfish, a stunning novel about a mixed race teen who struggles to find her way back to her love of music in the wake ofher sister's death.

Rumi Seto spends a lot of time worrying she doesn't have the answers to everything.

What to eat, where to go, whom to love. But there is one thing she is absolutely sure of – she wants to spend the rest of her life writing music with her younger sister, Lea. 

Then Lea dies in a car accident, and their mother sends Rumi away to live with her aunt in Hawaii while she deals with her own grief. Now thousands of miles from home, Rumi struggles to navigate the loss of her sister, being abandoned by her mother, and the absence of music in her life. With the help of the 'boys next door' – teenage surfer Kai, who smiles too much and doesn't take anything seriously, and 80-year-old George Watanabe, who succumbed to his own grief years ago – Rumi seeks her way back to her music, to write the song she and Lea never had the chance to finish.

Aching, powerful and unflinchingly honest, Summer Bird Blue explores big truths about unconditional love, insurmountable grief, and how to forgive when it feels impossible.

'Raw, real and deeply hopeful. I will read anything Akemi Dawn Bowman writes.' — Alice Oseman, author of I Was Born For This and Radio Silence

'Bowman dives into the sea of grief with her protagonist and celebrates the kinds of love that are eclipsed all too often. With this remarkable book, she has cemented her position as one of the most progressive and insightful authors of her generation.' — Samantha Shannon

'Summer Bird Blue is without a doubt one of the best books I've read this year. It grabs your heart and won't let go.' — Book Riot

'The best YA debut novel of the year.' — Paste Magazine on Starfish