Black Helicopters: Book summary and reviews of Black Helicopters by Blythe Woolston

Black Helicopters

By Blythe Woolston

Black Helicopters
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  • Published in USA  Mar 2013,
    176 pages.
    Age range: Young Adult


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Book Summary

I'm Valkyrie White. I'm fifteen. Your government killed my family.

Ever since Mabby died while picking beans in their garden - with the pock-a-pock of a helicopter overhead - four-year-old Valley knows what her job is: hide in the underground den with her brother, Bo, while Da is working, because Those People will kill them like coyotes. But now, with Da unexpectedly gone and no home to return to, a teenage Valley (now Valkyrie) and her big brother must bring their message to the outside world - a not-so-smart place where little boys wear their names on their backpacks and young men don't pat down strangers before offering a lift.

Blythe Woolston infuses her white-knuckle narrative, set in a day-after-tomorrow Montana, with a dark, trenchant humor and a keen psychological eye. Alternating past-present vignettes in prose as tightly wound as the springs of a clock and as masterfully plotted as a game of chess, she ratchets up the pacing right to the final, explosive end.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. The ambiguities and of-the-moment realism of Woolston's story muddy the lines between right and wrong, while giving provocative insight into the mindset of those who see modern government as an unnecessary evil. Ages 14–up." - Publishers Weekly

"Starred Review. Readers who may have previously associated suicide bombers with religious fanaticism will be fascinated by Valkyrie's totally secular but equally single-minded devotion to anti-government rhetoric and revenge. Harrowing and unforgettable." - Kirkus

"Black Helicopters is that quite remarkable event: a pace-perfect, pitch-perfect thriller that is exquisitely written and deeply thought provoking." - Tim Wynne-Jones, author of Blink & Caution, a Boston Globe - Horn Book Award winner

"This novel wrapped its icy hand around my heart and dragged me in. Admirably restrained, peculiarly fluent, and scary as hell, I read Black Helicopters straight through and immediately told everybody I knew about it." - Ron Koertge, author of Lies, Knives, and Girls in Red Dresses

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Blythe Woolston's first novel, The Freak Observer, won the William C. Morris debut fiction award. She lives in Billings, Montana.

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