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Black Dove White Raven

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  2,794 ratings  ·  630 reviews
A story of survival, subterfuge, espionage, and identity.

Emilia and Teo's lives changed in a fiery, terrifying instant when a bird strike brought down the plane their stunt pilot mothers were flying. Teo's mother died immediately, but Em's survived, determined to raise Teo according to his late mother's wishes—in a place where he won't be discriminated against because of t
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published March 31st 2015 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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Johanna Burton I would recommend anything by Ruta Sepetys, all of her books to date explore lesser known historical events and the two of hers I've read so far have …moreI would recommend anything by Ruta Sepetys, all of her books to date explore lesser known historical events and the two of hers I've read so far have been amazing!(less)
Sammy I would say yes. Black Dove White Raven is definitely YA.

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Hailey (Hailey in Bookland)
Such an interesting time period to read about. Elizabeth Wein has such an amazing way with words. I didn't find this one quite as impactful as her other books but I did still really enjoy it!
Jessie  (Ageless Pages Reviews)
I will read anything this woman writes.
Ashley Marie
One of the things I loved about this book was the setting, and the fact that it was in a location and time period I was unfamiliar with. World War II is a period of history where I like to think I'm well-informed on things around the world-- from an American standpoint, or the Holocaust, or the Nazis themselves, Hungary, Russia, Japan, wherever. Hitler and Mussolini are both in power in this book, but this involves the Italo-Ethiopian War, which is one thing (of many) I've never heard about. I'm ...more
Amber (Books of Amber)
It seems like I say this with every book I read, but my review for Black Dove, White Raven was a difficult one to write. I had a lot of trouble separating my love for Wein’s previous books and my feelings for this one, so I think I have talked a load of nonsense. Anyway, read on.

So, I liked this one. Black Dove, White Raven was okay. Just okay. In comparison to Code Name Verity, which I have placed on a throne made of dismembered aeroplanes, it wasn’t great. But when I took a step back and reall
Megan  (thebookishtwins)
I received this free from the publishers via NetGalley

I loved that word: soulmate. We asked Grandma what it meant and she said, 'Two people who understand each other without talking about it. Two halves of a whole'.

Delia and Rhoda are female stunt pilots, one black and one white. They strive for a life where their gender or colour will not determine their life. A fateful accident kills Delia, Teo's mother. Rhoda wishes to live the dream for Delia and is determined to give a better life for Teo a
Dec 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
It honestly does not come to a surprise that I loved Black Dove, White Raven so much. I mean, after Code Name Verity and Rose Under Fire, there was no way I wasn't going to love this other historical fiction masterpiece.

Oh boy where do I start? Let's see. Well this particular story takes place mainly in Ethiopia, where things are getting more and more tense with Italy, a country that takes pride in attempting to colonize the last self-governed African country (in other words, invade them). But l
Feb 12, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya-fiction
Wein's lyrical writing and rich characters continue to impress in her latest novel. Wein does an excellent job of creating distinct voices for Em and Teo, and I enjoyed seeing their different perspectives on flying, faith, and life in Ethiopia. However, I had a hard time getting into this book. Until about half-way through, there wasn't as much tension as I would have liked. Once the pace picked up, I was hooked through to the end, but I would have preferred higher stakes earlier in the story. T ...more
A powerful and richly atmospheric novel of family, bravery and national identity. Emilia and Teo’s lives changed in an instant when a bird strike brought down the plane their stunt pilot mothers were flying, killing Teo’s mother. Em’s mother, determined to raise Teo in a place where he won’t be discriminated against because of the colour of his skin, brings Em and Teo to Ethiopia, where all three fall in love with the beautiful, peaceful country. But that peace is shattered in 1935 by war with I ...more
Althea Ann
Feb 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
The previous books I've read by Elizabeth Wein featured a fascinating mix of Arthurian legend and Ethiopian history, with a level of complexity and maturity unusual for the YA marketing label they were stuck with.

Therefore, I was immediately interested in her newest, 'Black Dove, White Raven,' which also has an Ethiopian setting, but takes place over the years following 1930 (the time of Haile Selassie's coronation.)

The book is in the format of an assemblage of writings by our two young protago
As seen on The Quiet Concert

Black Dove, White Raven was a change of pace from Wein's two previous* novels, but I found it to be just as impactful, in its own way.

BDWR is the story of Em and Teo and their adventures together. They are inseparable because their mothers were inseparable, until a freak plane crash took Teo's mother, Delia, from them all. After Em's mother, Rhoda, pieces herself back together, she moves Em and Teo to Ethiopia, the birthplace of Teo's father and a place where her chil
Oct 31, 2014 rated it really liked it

Ethiopia in the 1930's was no utopia. There was a nightmare at the heart of Ethiopian society from which it had yet to awaken. Teen protagonist Teo was caught up in that nightmare. He was trained to be a pilot and became quite accomplished. When he was sixteen his life took a terrible turn. I wept for Teo. His deceased mother wouldn't have even considered bringing Teo to Ethiopia if it had occurred to her that such a thing could happen to him.

I was captured by the originality and intensity of
Abby Johnson
Mar 31, 2015 rated it it was ok
Ugggh, I so wanted to like this one but it was just not my cup of tea. I will say that it was interesting to see a World War II story set in Ethiopia since I know absolutely nothing about Ethiopia and the war with Italy, so that was completely new to me. I just felt like there were long stretches where nothing much was happening and eventually I just didn't care enough to even finish it. I didn't like the format of the story, told through ridiculously detailed flight logs and short stories that ...more
The audiobook of Black Dove, White Raven was incredible. It is worth listening to over physically reading Read my full review hereReview goes live 7/25/16 ...more
Feb 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc-read, netgalley, own, ya
Prepare to go back in time to the 1930’s, when being a pilot was strictly a man’s world, and two women defied the gender and race barriers to become a dynamic duo in the heavens with their daredevil feats. One horrendous day, it all changed, two went up and only one came away alive in a freak crash that killed one of the finest pilots ever.

With Teo’s mother dead, Rhoda takes him in, determined he will live the life his mother wanted for him. Together with Emilia, her daughter, Rhoda journeys ac
Dec 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
(Thanks to Netgalley for the chance to read the ARC!)

Elizabeth Wein books are the hardest books to review, because no words seem *good* enough to talk about her extraordinary characters, plots, or writing.

I read this solely on the strength of the author's previous works. The 20s & 30s are not "my" era. I have no particular interest in Ethiopia. On the surface, the plot as described in blurbs (stunt pilot friends, one black and one white, each have a child. One mother dies, the other attempts t
Feb 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is the first book by Elizabeth Wein I've read, but CERTAINLY not the last! SO great. ...more
Jill Heather
Mar 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical, ya
The problem is I really want to have the experience of reading Code Name Verity for the first time again and I don't. It's an unfairly high bar. ...more
Sep 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
great characters and a great story set during a historical event not enough people know about. i love elizabeth wein's books!! ...more
Rich in Color
Nov 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical
Review copy: ARC via publisher

After reading Code Name Verity and Rose Under Fire this book was automatically placed on my “Must Read” list. Elizabeth Wein has a way with historical fiction. This new addition to her Young Pilots Series centers around Ethiopia and its relations with Italy prior to World War II. I knew that Africa was part of the war, but that wasn’t a focus in my American history classes, so much of the politics and intrigue were new to me. Wein weaves in the history so readers ar
Feb 05, 2015 rated it liked it
Emilia and Teo are the children of stunt flier duo Black Dove and White Raven – Teo’s mother Delia is Black Dove, and Emilia’s mother Rhoda is White Raven. After experiencing the racism of the American south in the 1930s, Delia dreams of moving Teo to Ethiopia, his father’s homeland, where he could have a chance to live without prejudice. When Delia is tragically killed in a flight accident, Rhoda carries on Delia’s dream and moves them to Ethiopia to live on a coffee cooperative and fly for a l ...more
Sarah Laurence
Feb 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Started slow with lots of backstory, but soon enough, I fell in love with the story. Once again Wein delivers strong, charismatic female characters, marvelous flying scenes, evocative settings and surprising plot twists. I appreciated the racial diversity too. Disclosure: I'm friends with the editor, but I was already a fan of the author.

Full review on my blog:
Originally reviewed at

Black Dove, White Raven (BDWR), first and foremost, is a book about family. Emilia Menotti and Teo Gedeyon are family, despite their different skin and lack of blood ties. Rhoda Menotti and Delia Dupré, Emilia's and Teo's mamas, were family through and through, both in the air flying their stunts and on the ground in Jim Crow America. When Delia dies, family means Emilia, Teo, and Rhoda moving to Ethiopia where Teo won't be shunned b
Mar 18, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
One thing I loved about this book is that it's about two female stunt pilots, something I've never read about before. A tragedy occurs which changes the course of life for one of them in particular. After that happens, the other one moves to Ethiopia with her daughter. That in itself would be traumatic, I would think, for most people due to being in a new country, learning a new culture and language and so on. I also love historical fiction, which is this book's genre. I thought the historical d ...more
Mady White
Feb 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wein has a real talent for writing. Black Dove White Raven is well written book and each character has a developed personality. I loved the setting too, it is different and new. This is probably the first book I've read that is set in Africa. This is also one of the few historical fiction books I've read that is not set during WW2. Overall, it was a great book, it definitely is exciting and new. ...more
Sep 29, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult, fiction
I so wanted to love this book. How could I not when Code Name Verity is one of my absolute favorite books of all time? The reality is that it was a struggle for me to engage with and took me weeks (with other books mixed in) to finally finish.

Part of the problem for me was the pacing. This isn’t a fast-paced book, especially for a YA book. Now, realistically speaking, I’m not sure how many of Elizabeth Wein’s fans are actual young adults anyway. Most the of the readers I know who loved Code Nam
Aj Sterkel
May 28, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
When Goodreads told me that there was a historical fiction book set in 1930s Ethiopia, I knew I needed it. When I found out that it was written by the same author who wrote Code Name Verity, I knew that I needed it immediately.

If you’re looking for a story with strong female characters, check this one out. It starts with two female stunt pilots, Rhoda and Delia, who may be closeted lesbians, but their relationship isn’t completely clear. (It is the 1930s, after all.) They run an air show called
Apr 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Elizabeth Wein combines the WWII setting of CODE NAME VERITY and ROSE UNDER FIRE with the Ethiopian setting of her last four Lion Hunter novels in a book that is sure to please her fans new and old.

BLACK DOVE, WHITE RAVEN beings with a letter from Emilia to the Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie asking for him to grant her brother Teodoros a passport. What follows are the diary entries, flight logs, and stories they wrote together, the evidence Em sends to the emperor that Teo deserves his help l
**I received this book for free from (Disney-Hyperion) via (NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!! This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**

*Genre* Historical Fiction
*Rating* 3.5-4

*My Thoughts*

Black Dove, White Raven is the third novel by Elizabeth Wein that I have read. The previous two were Code Name Verity and Rose Under Fire which both featured brave female pilots. Once again, Wein writes her story with World War II as the background. This t
Apr 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book is smart and gripping and unlike anything else I've ever read, except perhaps for Elizabeth Wein's other excellent books. I loved Emilia and Teo and the powerful sibling bond between them; I loved the rich, evocative descriptions of Ethiopia in the 1920s and the upheaval and conflict there, which I had known very little about before I read the book; I loved the way Wein interwove real historical people and events with characters and incidents from her own imagination to make the story ...more
Whitley Birks
Oct 22, 2018 rated it liked it
Black Dove, White Raven tells the story of Emilia and Teo, two adopted siblings, raised in both America and Ethiopia during the 1930s. Emilia's mother and Teo's mother were best friends and two halves of a stunt-flying duo, but when Teo's mother dies he's adopted into Emilia's family and they move to Ethiopia. Teo's father is from there. But war with Italy starts brewing, ultimately forcing them to flee the country.

The story is told through a framing device that...just...really irritated me. In
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