Books grow from a lot of places. Blue Birds is firmly rooted in two of my childhood friendships.
In 1980 I moved back to the US from Saudi Arabia at the ripe old age of six. I didn’t understand America, this place with “deer crossing signs” (weren’t those pictures of goats?) and weird playground slang. While living on the other side of the world, what had once been familiar was now strange. That’s when I met Sergio, my boy-next-door, playmate, classmate, sometimes sworn enemy, and stand-in sibling. Our friendship gave us a place to be ourselves, to grow into our fuller selves. It was a safe place for me to navigate my new surroundings and learn about my new home.
A few years later, I met Anna. We traded books, dreamed big dreams, were hugely creative and beyond silly. Anna moved away in fifth grade, and our mothers let us call each other twice a year — on our birthdays and Christmas. The rest of the time we wrote letters, hers filling up a blue suitcase I kept in my closet, mine filling up a red toolbox in hers. Since 1985, we’ve seen each other only five times. I still count Anna as one of my dearest friends.
How have your childhood friends influenced you?
This post is part of a week-long celebration in honor of Blue Birds. I’m giving away a downloadable PDF of this beautiful Blue Birds quote (created by Annie Barnett of Be Small Studios) for anyone who pre-orders the book from January 12-19. Simply click through to order from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books A Million, IndieBound, or Powell’s, then email a copy of your receipt to firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday, January 19.
Join the celebration!
Blue Birds by Caroline Starr Rose :: Kid Book List
Good Friends and Good Books: Blue Birds by Caroline Starr Rose :: Victoria Easter Wilson
Blue Birds by Caroline Starr Rose :: The Readers and Writers Paradise
Bravery in a Foreign Land: Celebrating Caroline Starr Rose’s Blue Birds :: Amy Rogers Hays
Blue Birds by Caroline Starr Rose :: Well Read Sleepy Head
Blue Birds, by Caroline Starr Rose, and an Unlikely Friendship :: Our House in the Middle of Our Street
Faith Hough says
The friendships in BLUE BIRDS so resonated with me. Moving around the U.S. is hardly as dramatic as across the world like you or Alis, but I moved 10 times as a kid, and every new place seemed like a new world. When I was 9 I met a girl who was at the same time very different from me and exactly like me–and we’re still the best of friends to this day, even though our lives took different directions… I’m married with soon-to-be five children, and she is a nun! But our passions in life are exactly the same, and no one can understand me like she can.
Faith, I love this story! I can’t even begin to imagine moving 9 times. I love how friendships can bind us together so strongly.
Kimberley Griffiths Little says
I love all these stories – yours, Caroline, and yours, Faith! Thanks for sharing them. Friendship is a powerful thing.
And I love yours!
Loved sharing my little reflections on friendship in honor of your book, Caroline! Thanks so much for the opportunity to read and talk about this special project!