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3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  1,197 ratings  ·  268 reviews
Revoyr does a remarkable job of conveying [protagonist] Michelle s lost innocence and fear through this accomplished story of family and the dangers of complacency in the face of questionable justice."
--"Publishers Weekly (starred review)"
"Revoyr's fourth novel is a coming-of-age saga in which racism cuts across loyalties between family and friends . . . Gripping and insi
ebook, 178 pages
Published February 8th 2011 by Akashic Books
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At first I thought the author exaggerates the extent of the hatred, racism, and violence in 1974 in Deerhorn, Wisconsin. A town in the Deep South seemed a more appropriate location. But then I started thinking of some mid-westerners I have known even more recently than 1974 who have made me uncomfortable with their vitriolic racist views. If these people were living in a small all-white town, grew up fearful of anyone different from themselves; never left their comfort zone to travel; hated the ...more
Wow--what a powerful story! I am so glad I was led to this book by an independent book store owner. I would not have found this one otherwise.

At first I was confused and thought this book was supposed to be a memoir but later realized it was not and I am glad it was not. The drama in it was sometimes so intense that I had to put it down and take a break. There was so much prejudice and hate it was difficult to stomach but I do realize there are still people like that in this world. Sad but true.
"Wingshooters" is heavy-handed at times, but the depiction of a relationship between a 9-year-old mixed-race girl (Japanese mother, American father) and her grandfather saves the day easily.

There are other novels out there whose stories center around a child's growing realization of the intricacies and malignant power of racism ("To Kill a Mockingbird," anyone?) and Revoyr, whose works I'd never read before, certainly goes for it in a bid to join the club. She mostly succeeds.

Michelle LeBeau's f
At first glance, Wingshooter appears like yet another rendition of the banal plotline in which a young innocent girl comes to learn about race in the US. However, unlike the saccharine feel-good versions that lets white readers always imagine themselves the exception to white supremacist culture (e.g. "The secret life of bees", "The help"), Revoyr's young narrator, Mike, comes to learn of the power, depth and violence of racism, even in the person who loves her best.
Reyvor has created a compelli
One of the blurbs I read about this book says it's a northern version of "To Kill A Mockingbird". As I read the book, I thought the author was trying to make as serious a statement on race relations. But the story left me wanting. All of the major characters felt like cardboard cutouts. Their actions were presented to the reader, with little attempt at showing the motivations for those actions. I understand that the main reason for that is the reader is supposed to be viewing people through the ...more
In the 1970’s in the north, our country often represented a Caucasian demographic. As time progressed, African Americans migrated into the north, mainly to cities but eventually to suburbs and rural areas. The story of Wingshooters is narrated by Michelle, an eight year old child and chronicles the events that occurred after a black couple moves into a rural Wisconsin town. Mrs. Garrett, the wife takes a job in a local medical clinic as a nurse while Mr. Garrett begins as a substitute teacher at ...more
Nick Schroeder
It was good. Read in two days, actually about 28 hours. Terrible how work interferes with the really important things in life. Quick, easy read but that doesn't mean it's an easy book. Michelle is a nine-year-old living in world full of contradictions, e.g. a caring and loving grandfather who is a bigot and the definition of provincial. I recently read Téa Obreht's The Tiger's Wife and that dealt with stories, public and private, and I think Wingshooters does that nicely also. What face (story) ...more
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Jason Pettus
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography []. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally.)

While it's easy to see what former Lambda Award winner Nina Revoyr was going for in Wingshooters, the latest from our friends at Akashic Books -- namely, to revisit the territory covered by Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, but this time from the perspective of 1970s Wisconsin instead of 1930s Alabama --
Amy M
My first 5 star rating of 2012. This book simply blew me away. It's not one of those fast-moving, can't-put-down kinds of stories, but it is deeply emotional and powerful. Revoyr perfectly captures the voice of Michelle ("Mike"), a 9-year old Japanese-American girl living with her paternal grandparents in rural Wisconsin in the early 1970s. Although a racist & bigot, Michelle's grandfather loves her more than anything or anyone in the world, and she in turn adores him, despite recognizing th ...more
Jun 19, 2011 Yasmin rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Literary Fiction Fans and Those Who Like Books Which Feature Biracial Characters
Recommended to Yasmin by: Beverly Jackson
I finished reading Wingshooters and while I enjoyed the storyline...good character development, pacing, plotting, I wish I would have heard some of the adult voices. Seems like so many books today...or at least the ones I'm reading are being told from a young, protagonist perspective. As such, there's lots of loose ends in the storylines. In Wingshooters I wanted to know what made a young, African-American married couple move to BumF&ck WI which was a rural, farming town and one where they w ...more
Anderson's Bookshops
Mary K. says, "This book made me so mad, and even though I finished it two days ago, I'm still fuming and having a silent argument with the author. I grew up in a community similar to Deerhorn, WI, and at first I didn't remember such prejudice at that time. Then I started really thinking back, not to my parents, but to some of their friends and, sadly, some of my classmates. Then the other side of the argument takes over - this couldn't have happened in 1974 in the Midwest,.. could it? Any book ...more
I would have given this book a was very well-written, and I thought the perspective...written by the adult Michelle, but through the eyes of her nine-year old self, was effective. I will not take time to discuss the horrible, racial prejudice here - it is something offensive all the way to the core of my being - I am thankful beyond belief that I was raised in a household that taught me the opposite way of thinking, believing and acting. The big takeaway for me in this book was how we a ...more
This was a quick read but it tackles some big issues: racism, good vs. evil, and what we (society, parents, family) owe our children. Michelle (called Mike by her grandfather) is a Japanese-American child who is the only person of color living in a rural Wisconsin town. Her mother left long ago, and her father has abandoned her to his parents while he goes to search for her mother and then later, just never comes back. Her grandfather is highly respected by the other townspeople and loves Mike a ...more
Told from the memory of Mike/Michelle, a bi-racial (Japanese and white) child who is abandoned by both of her parents and lives with her Grandparents in a small town in Michigan, this novel describes the racism that Michelle experiences, but also the racism experienced by the first two Black professionals to arrive in town. It's a really beautiful book, and the ending made me cry. I think it's technically young adult, but it is profound in its descriptions, and the narrator manages to bring an a ...more
This is one of those bestselling, well-reviewed books that I found disappointing, largely because it felt inauthentic. I could well be mistaken because the author's website says that she was "born . . . to a Japanese mother and a white American father, and grew up in Tokyo, Wisconsin, and Los Angeles." Except for the Los Angeles part, that pretty much matches the essential story of the 9-year-old narrator of this story. But the residents of the Wisconsin town in the early 1970s that she tells ab ...more
The book is sending the message about the ugliness of racism. The message came loud and clear, but her characters were stiff. I did not really feel I knew them well. The author was trying to show too large an audience. I wanted to know the Grandmother, the little girls mother, - the family. That failed to materialize.

Now, the subject of hunting which is discussed in this book is what I really wish to touch upon. I would like to ask the author what her experience is in regards to hunting and the
Kathy McC
WOW! This book packs an emotional wallup with a storyline I will not soon forget. It covers the gamut of emotions: humor, fear, loneliness, grief, and anger. It is a story of bigotry and hate and does not sugar coat their effects. Sadly, although it is set in the early 1970s, for certain areas of the country and for many groups, the conditions still exist.
While many books with this level of hatred are set in the south, this novel tells the story of Michelle, the daughter of a Japanese mother a
Good book! Michelle (nicknamed Mikey) is 9 years old in 1974, kind of deserted by her parents, and living with her grandparents. Her father (the grandparent's son) married a Japanese woman, so Michelle is mixed race, and the only person who isn't white residing in a small Wisconsin town. She endures shunning and bullying. Her grandfather, who is the town's most respected man, is a huge racist, just like his friends and the rest of the town. He absolutely loves Mikey though and because she is fam ...more
Nancy Lewis
This one is difficult to read for its raw descriptions of the real racism of small town USA. Although it is set in the 1970s, it might still be relevant today in some places. It smacks of Brokeback Mountain and the violent backlash against people who don't follow the prescribed norm.

The only thing I can't fully accept is that the Japanese-American girl felt empathy for the Garretts from the beginning. More real would be if she joined the rest of the town in seeing the couple as outsiders, peopl
Bonnie Schroeder
A fictional memoir about a nine-year-old Japanese-American girl and the years 1973-1974 that she spent with her grandparents in a very right-wing town in rural Wisconsin. Abandoned by her parents and subjected to sometimes violent racism on the part of both children and adults, Michelle bonds with her grandfather despite his racist beliefs. Her best friend in Brett, her grandfather’s hunting dog, past his prime but able to protect Michelle and provide her much-needed companionship and acceptance ...more
One of the best books I've read this year! Too bad it's not out till March 2011. This powerful story of a mixed race girl being raised by her prejudiced grandparents in an all-white small town in Wisconsin in the 70's feels like a memoir. The narrative voice is absolutely perfect throughout. What a great book! I can't say enough about it.
I loved this book! It reminded me of To Kill a Mockingbird, which is my all-time favorite book. It's a compelling story of a young girl who is half Japanese and who goes to live with her grandparents in a very small town in Wisconsin in the early 1970s. I can't wait to read other books by Revoyr.
This small book is mostly narrative (little dialogue), but the foreshadowing makes you want to turn page after page. Although the story is about an 11-year-old Japanese/American girl, the protagonist narrates the story as an adult, reflecting back on that year. Not to be missed.
Dawn Payne
I am not that good at writing reviews. I just write a review for my friends on Goodreads. So, friends, I couldn't put this book down and flew through it in two days. A great read! Makes you think, ponder, and wonder how far have we come?
A story of bigotry in a small town in Wisconsin. The story told from the point of view of a biracial 9 year old girl was an insightful look into the network of relationships that allow unforgivable acts of prejudice.
30 odd years later "Mike" looks back at events from when she lived in a small, isolated town in central Wisconsin in 1974. The town is not very open to the New America that is beginning - a New America that includes a professional Af-Am couple moving in to town. As half Japanese, even at age 9 Michelle knows what they are going through.
The chapter when it all comes to a head is non-stop reading, and it is no surprise that Revoyr's earlier novel, Southland, was nominated for an Edgar (also for a
Nancy Jurss
Good coming-of-age story. Set in a small town in Wisconsin during the 70's, Michelle (Mike to her grandfather) is a half Japanese girl who finds herself relocated to her grandparents when both parents essentially abandon her there to pursue their own interests. Michelle endures bigotry from many of the townspeople. When a black couple relocates to this town, the racial tensions intensify. One of the worst of the bigots is Michelle's grandfathers best friend. This sets in motion a chain of events ...more
Fabulous. Beautiful prose. Although a novel, it reads like a memoir. It reminded me of To Kill a Mockingbird, but a different era and location (1974 in a small Wisconsin town) with a darker tone. My heart ached for Michelle and the hard lessons she learned at such a young age. I stumbled upon this book while looking for something that was immediately available from my library to read on my Kindle, and I am so surprised that it was never a bestseller with the rights optioned for a movie. Defintel ...more
Schawn schoepke
I enjoyed this book. It hit on some of my own experiences growing up here in Wisconsin. Parts of what the author hit on are close but not right on. Wisconsin is a very closed tight world in parts of the state just as anywhere in the world where people have to struggle to survive. Its not far off in my own memory the rancor and hate when the Indians started spearing the lakes in the 80's. It was a racism that was not familiar to us yet was right there and seemed to come easy. Its as if the state ...more
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Nina Revoyr was born in Japan to a Japanese mother and a white American father, and grew up in Tokyo, Wisconsin, and Los Angeles. She is the author of four novels. Her first book, The Necessary Hunger , was described by Time magazine as "the kind of irresistible read you start on the subway at 6 p.m. on the way home from work and keep plowing through until you've turned the last page at 3 a.m. in ...more
More about Nina Revoyr...
Southland The Age of Dreaming The Necessary Hunger Lost Canyon Aru nikkeijin no shōzo =: Southland

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“the barrel of the bat and flew out into the field, I felt a sense of joy and freedom as powerful and true as anything I’ve ever experienced. If you have never felt the resistance and connection of a bat hitting a baseball; if you have not heard the crack of the bat split an autumn afternoon; if you have not watched that ball sail through the open air and settle into the fresh-cut grass, you have missed one of life’s purest feelings of achievement. Hitting a ball is like catching a piece of the sky and sending it back up to itself. It’s like creating your own crack of thunder. And stopping a ball—especially a grounder you have to reach for, or a line drive that should have flown past your glove—is like catching a bolt of lightning.” 0 likes
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