Jul 13, 10
Read in February, 2010
Before Women Had Wings: Connie May Fowler
Date Finished: February 2010
Snapshot: Bird is young girl from a poor family in the rural south. The first scene takes place in their family-owned store—her dad is threatening to commit suicide. Bird’s father is an alcoholic who regularly beats Bird’s mother; Bird’s mother is a cold woman who criticizes her two daughters and her husband. The couple is only happy when they are drunk. When Bird’s mother gets a little fresh with her husband, he hires someone to beat her up. She ends up in the hospital, some teeth are missing and her face is disfigured. The dad eventually kills himself, and Bird, her mother, and her sister take off to Florida to start a new life. In order to survive, her mother stoops as low as prostitution to provide shelter and food for her family.
“Hook”: The main character in this book is a very sweet little girl, which may appeal to students; also the book has a lot of family drama.
Challenges: The book is for stronger readers because the story requires the reader to make a lot of inferences, and use subtle details to predict what is about to happen.
Student in Mind: Probably a female student who is interested in women’s issues and women’s rights.
Conference Notes: discussion about the role of women and the expectations of young girls; discussion about the domestic violence that goes on in the book
Level: medium hard 10th/11th
Other: women’s issues and domestic violence