Synopsis from Edelweiss:
A sweet, tender middle-grade story of two boys finding first love with each other over a seaside summer.
Jeremy is not excited about the prospect of spending the summer with his dad and his uncle in a seaside cabin in Oregon. It’s the first summer after his parents’ divorce, and he hasn’t exactly been seeking alone time with his dad. He doesn’t have a choice, though, so he goes… and on his first day takes a walk on the beach and finds himself intrigued by a boy his age running by. Eventually, he and Runner Boy (Evan) meet — and what starts out as friendship blooms into something neither boy is expecting… and also something both boys have been secretly hoping for.
About: The Language of Seabirds is a middle grade queer fiction written by Will Taylor. It will be published on 7/19/2022 by Scholastic, paperback, 256 pages. The genres are middle grade fiction, queer romance, and contemporary. This book is intended for readers ages 8 to 12, grades 3 to 7. According to the publisher’s website, “Scholastic was founded in 1920 as a single classroom magazine. Today, Scholastic books and educational materials are in tens of thousands of schools and tens of millions of homes worldwide, helping to Open a World of Possible for children across the globe” and their mission is to “encourage the intellectual and personal growth of all children, beginning with literacy.” Please see below for more information about the publisher and author.
My Experience: I started reading The Language of Seabirds on 5/13/2022 and finished it on 5/18/2022. A great read. Jeremy was a great character as well as Evan. Jeremy’s mom sounded like the responsible adult while his dad wasn’t. I liked that Jeremy remembered what his mom taught him and utilized her teachings. It’s always sad the kids got mixed up in parents relationship fallout. Good thing the divorce in this story was amicable. This story would have been more interesting if there was a view from Evan. Jeremy’s life was a bit boring to be honest. He constantly worried about which parent he will live with and often noticed his dad had a few too many beers. His dad complained about lack of father-son time but he forced his son up the roof cleaning on his own without his guidance. Adults during divorce can be miserable I guess.
This book began with Jeremy, 12 celebrating his birthday with his parents. It didn’t end well. Six months later, his parents divorced. His dad drove him to his uncle Becker’s house by the beach to stay for 2 weeks while his mom moved out. He’s been harboring his secret this whole time. While looking out over the beach, Jeremy caught sight of a guy he liked. Later he ran into that guy, Evan, 12 at a store in town. By some miracle, he got the Evan’s phone number and met up to run together at the beach. They both liked to look at the seabirds and recalled their names with a secret language of their own for what each bird stands for, such as hungry, feeling awful, goodbye. Just as their friendship were blossoming, Evan had to leave on a fishing trip with his family. Jeremy could come with but he worried he couldn’t hide his crush on Evan surrounded by Evan’s cousins. Later when Evan came back, they hung out more and outside of running together. Meanwhile, Evan constantly worried about his future, whether he will live with his mom or his dad and how the divorce is causing changes in his dad.
The Language of Seabirds was a good story about a young boy who’s going to be a teen soon and finding himself liking fashion magazines and boys. He didn’t have anyone to communicate with what he’s feeling. Not even his uncle as I had thought especially since his uncle was unmarried and lived alone. It’s sad to go through changes without having anyone to talk to, though eventually Jeremy got to talk to Evan about it. I liked the cover of this book as well as the illustrations for each chapter headings. The seabirds language was a good idea. Other than that, it would have been great if Jeremy got to talk to someone about his internal battles. The ending was bittersweet. There’s no guarantee that they will see each other again. His uncle indeed owned many beach houses so I’m going to say they will see each other again.
I rate it 3.5 stars!
About the Author:
Will Taylor (he/they) is a reader, writer, and honeybee fan. He lives in the heart of downtown Seattle surrounded by all the seagulls and not quite too many teacups. When not writing he can be found searching for the perfect bakery, talking to trees in parks, and completely losing his cool when he meets longhaired dachshunds. His books include Maggie & Abby’s Neverending Pillow Fort; Maggie & Abby and the Shipwreck Treehouse; Slimed; Catch That Dog!; and The Language of Seabirds. (Photo and info obtained from the author’s website). https://www.willtaylorbooks.com/about/
More Information about Scholastic
***Disclaimer: Many thanks to Scholastic for the opportunity to read and review. Please be assured that my opinions are honest.