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Sleeping with the Blackbirds

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  24 ratings  ·  22 reviews
Eleven-year-old Roy Nuttersley has been handed a pretty raw deal. So Roy takes comfort in looking after the birds in his suburban garden, and in return the birds hatch a series of ambitious schemes to protect their new friend.
Paperback, 124 pages
Published September 1st 2011 by Indepenpress Publishing
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Jan 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
I'm a big believer in taking the time to read a chapter a day to children before (and even after) they're able to read. It not only teaches them whatever the moral of the story is, but also teaches them words (how they sound and what they look like) and gives you quality time with no distractions except your imaginations. THIS is a great chapter book to share with the younger generations, especially since it touches on both bullying and feelings when parents fight a lot at home.

Those are the tw
Igor Eliseev
Sep 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
“Sleeping with the Blackbirds” by Alex Pearl is somewhat similar to “James and the Giant Peach” and at the same time to “Lord of the Flies”; on the other hand, it is unlike any other in the world. This book is awesome for kids, but aimed at adults old enough to get it.

“Sleeping with the Blackbirds” involves not only senses, but also helps to shed misconceptions, dispel stereotypes, and identify the problems between parents and children. The dramatic relationship of an eleven-year-old Roy Nutter
Cthulhu Down My Chimney 2Night


Such a lovely, magical, story! Like a fairy tale, but better. Poor young Roy--at 11, he has experienced years of misery in a terribly unhappy household, and of course as such, he is an immediate target for overgrown bullies. But Roy is an old soul, with compassion and caring, and fixes what he can, so he builds gently painted birdhouses in the 4 trees in his home's backyard. Luckily he dies, because all the birds take a shine to him, and begin to
Michael DeStefano
Jan 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
At first blush, the title of Pearl’s original fairytale of a bullied pre-teen and his feathered protectors felt more like Ramsey Campbell vacationing in Bodega Bay; hinting toward the familiar La Cosa Nostra metaphor, 'sleeping with the fishes'. But unlike Hitchcock’s inexplicable avian menagerie, the title was meant to describe something that actually occurred in the story as these birds’ ultimate motivation was benevolent, not malevolent.

Pearl puts the fairytale aspect on full display, allowin
Juliet Wilson
Oct 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: novels
Ray Nuttersley is used to listening to his parents arguing at home and being bullied by Harry Hodges at school. To help him forget he takes up the binoculars his granny gave him and watches the birds in the garden, where he's put up very popular birdfeeders that he made himself:

"It was little wonder then, that Ray's brightly painted bird boxes and feeders were beginning to attract the attention of all manner of birds.

The blackbirds sung Ray's praises to the sparrows, and the sparrows spread the
Dec 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Eleven-year-old Roy Nuttersley has a rough life between two bitter parents and three school bullies. Roy spends his time looking after the birds in his garden, creating houses for them and supplying them with food. The birds take on a mission to protect their new friend in some rather creative ways.

This book’s writing style reminded me of Harry Potter and I laughed when I saw that the main bully’s name was Harry. That said, the story is entirely different and it really is a good book for kids wh
Mfonemana Uduak
Nov 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Ah, the good old days of good simple fantasy. This book took me back to the first time I saw fantasy. The thrill of simplicity. I loved it.
Sep 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book, down to its core is a message directed at younger audiences. You have to see that in picking it up; otherwise the nature of the story, kind of like an animated kid’s movie, will be lost. Its plot is deceptively simple, with predictable characters that behave in ways we’ve all seen in other books and movies. Moving past that though, the author uses these characters and plot to delicately weave home a message about bullying and the bullying cycle- starting from the home life, to the sch ...more
Jun 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

I want to preface this with saying this was a very good book. I enjoyed reading it. That being said, it is not a fast paced book. It is not a book that is all action and adventure. It's a beautifully written book about a boy and his birds. I think that young readers will love this book.

I felt sorry for Roy through out this whole book. I am a social worker and all I could think about is that this poor boy is being neglected. My heart reached o
Kelly Wittmann
Oct 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I devoured this wonderful middle-grade novel in less than 24 hours, and I loved it, though (or perhaps because) it turned out to be far more challenging than I originally thought it would be. Deeper. More profound. Touching on topics such as bullying, intellectual disabilities, illegitimacy, and parents in the prison system, it couldn't be more contemporary, yet it somehow has that old-fashioned feel so beloved by most fantasy readers. The bright colors of protagonist Roy Nuttersley's garden are ...more
Patrick Hodges
Apr 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Eleven-year-old Roy Nuttersley has the worst of both worlds. He lives under the same roof as his two loathsome parents who do nothing but abuse each other and ignore him. He goes to school only to be tortured by Harry Hodges, the school bully. The only solace he has is the kinship he feels with the birdlife of London, and the construction of the houses that he gratefully hangs in the trees for them. And the birds are grateful.

In fact, the birds are so grateful that they decide, en masse, to help
Sep 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent middle-grade book that tackles subjects such as bullying and dysfunctional families in an authentic and tender way. Rather than making Harry, Roy’s tormentor, an emotionless and impersonal bully, it delves into the reasons for his bullying, namely his feelings of inadequacy and abandonment. It paints both Roy and Harry in a sympathetic light, making them likeable and complex as characters. The magical realism that’s implanted in the form of anthropomorphic birds adds an enga ...more
T.R. Robinson
Jul 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story contains a vast mixture of emotions and experiences and does an excellent job of showing how bad parenting may impact upon a child. The reader is given a sense of; how a child may feel; how they will try to find ways for dealing with their situation; the sorrow they experience when little comforts are destroyed or removed by the very people they are doing their best to cope with. The reader cannot help sympathising with the protagonist;

Complete review may be read at: https://trrobinson
Boundless Book Reviews
Roy has been bullied and living with parents that argue constantly. That pay no attention to him. I felt sorry for Roy. He finds solace in the blackbirds.

The Blackbirds are able to realize how mean his bully, Harry Hodges is. They want to help Roy.

This was an interesting read. One, that has a lesson to tell. The author is a good writer and the flow is good. This would be a perfect book to read to a child or even those at the age of Young Adult....Lissa

Aug 04, 2015 rated it it was ok
I got this book in exchange for a review.

I feel like I'm on the opposite side here. I first started book and was highly confused. It seemed to have an amazing premise, but I didn't understand. Birds talking to each other. They plan to get birdseed? Um...okay?

The story wasn't very interesting, and the characters were a bit dull. I was highly confused to why the birds were adamantly fighting for this little boy who had birdseed. Aren't there other people who put out feeders? I just didn't get it.
Claire Brossard
Feb 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Sweet story for early teens. Addresses important and serious issues like bullying in a non threatening way. Would be a great platform to open the conversation with your own kids.
Well worth a read.
Christine Keleny
Jul 08, 2015 rated it liked it
I was asked to be part of a blog tour for Alex Pearl and his book Sleeping with the Blackbirds so below is my review of his book.

It turned out to be something I didn't expect.

Stats: 124 pages, published in 2011.

Genre: Middle-grade fantasy fiction (? - I'm guessing a bit here).

Blurb: (from Alex himself) Eleven-year-old schoolboy, Roy Nuttersley has been dealt a pretty raw deal. While hideous parents show him precious little in the way of love and affection, school bullies make his life a misery.
May 27, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fairytale
This book sounded like an interesting read from the synopsis and I saw that it had been getting great reviews, so I was excited to start reading it. Unfortunately, I found this book to be somewhat of a disappointment.

What I did like about this story was the concept – exploring both sides of bullying, the victim and the bully, as well as family and domestic violence. I also liked the personification of birds in the story, but being an English book, I was unfamiliar with the birds and so I have no
Svati Singh
Jul 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I purchased this book on recommendation by a friend, and I can honestly say I loved it. I enjoyed the plot – the pace felt good and I really enjoyed the surprises that continued to come as the book came to a close. At the mid-way point I had some guesses as to how things would go, and the book took me to new places and finished so beautifully – better than I could have imagined.

I hope it’s okay to say that *potential spoiler alert!* the book moved me to joyous tears by the end. For me, it’s a bo
Sep 24, 2016 rated it liked it
A sweet middle grade novel that deals with difficult topics like bullying and abusive parents. I felt that it was fairly underdeveloped though. There are a lot of aspects of the plot and some of the characters that aren't fully explained and the ending felt very rushed and left a lot of loose ends. I could definitely see someone in the age range of the main characters (10-12), or even a little bit younger depending on their reading level, enjoying this book quite a bit though.
Alex Pearl
Jul 16, 2016 added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
I registered a book at!
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Authors & Reviewers: Looking for reviewers 1 35 May 12, 2015 08:54AM  
Alex is a slightly shambolic and extremely shortsighted advertising copywriter living in NW London with his wife and two children who are far smarter than their old man.
With aspirations to write something a little more substantial than pithy ad copy, his first work of fiction, 'Sleeping with the Blackbirds', a novella for children and young adults, was published by PenPress in 2011 and re-issued