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The Girl Who Fell from the Sky

by Heidi W. Durrow

The Girl Who Fell from the Sky
  • Readers' rating:

  • Published in USA  Feb 2010
    256 pages
    Genre: Novels

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There are currently 18 reader reviews for The Girl Who Fell from the Sky
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MaryEllen K. (Albany, NY) (03/16/10)

The Girl Who Fell From the Sky
I was thrilled to receive this book because the theme was of great interest to me. I had previously read Caucasia, by Danzy Senna, another book about a biracial girl coming of age and trying to find her roots, her family, and her identity. I loved that book, so I had high hopes for Heidi Durrow's book. I typically enjoy books told from several different points of view, but with this story I wanted to hear so much more of Rachel's voice- so I was not drawn in by the alternating stories told by Nella, Roger, or Brick. I was really trying to get to know Rachel...but the book ended before that could happen, and that was disappointing to me.
Katharine P. (Boulder, CO) (03/12/10)

Not The Bluest Eye
A heartbreaking inside view of growing up half black and half white. A young girl survives a landing from 9 storeys up (was she pushed, did she fall?) which her mother and siblings did not. Taken in by the African American side of the family in Portland, she starts to make decisions about who she is and how she will face the rest of her life. Did I say heartbreaking? You will root for her and hope she does more than survive the decisions about who she is she keeps being forced to make. This title will appeal to adults, is great for bookclubs, but should be suggested to thoughtful young adults as well. The voice is strong and clear and the writing is transcendent and beautiful.
Catie N. (Aurora, CO) (03/12/10)

The Girl Who Fell From the Sky
The story of Rachel, daughter of a black GI and a Danish mother, and her family revolves around a bizarre tragedy that happens near the beginning of the book. Don't be put off by the quick reveal of that, though, because the the rest of the book is a slow unfolding of the "why" and the events leading up to that tragedy from the viewpoint of Rachel; Jamie/Brick, who is a witness to what happened; Rachel's mother's supervisor; and Rachel's father. Very different perspectives from each narrator adds a richness to the story, and the mystery of "why" isn't solved until the very end of the book. The author deals with themes of race, alcoholism, love, and forgiveness, among others, which brings me to my only complaint about the book: too many issues and too many plot points. But overall, an original story and a good read.
Liz C. (Portage, MI) (03/11/10)

The Girl Who Fell From the Sky
Heidi Durrow explores the issues of identity, race and family in this eloquently written novel. Rachel Morse survives a family tragedy and is forced to examine her identity when she moves to Portland to live with her African American grandmother. Is she white? Is she black? We might not think it matters, but it does, as this novel makes so perfectly clear. Rachel is a smart, gutsy, self-aware girl who comes of age through the course of the novel. The issues raised in this book are particularly relevant in our multicultural society. But the issues don’t get in the way of the story in this deserved winner of the Bellwether Prize. The engaging narrative and characters make it an excellent choice for young adults as well.
Jean O. (DePere, WI) (03/09/10)

The Girl Who Fell from the Sky
This book is a treasure; well written and a joy to read. Reading it made me think of loom weaving; different threads combined to make a beautiful piece of fabric. The gradual introduction of each character and of each portion of the plot is done so well. The story pulled me in and kept me feeling involved. The award the author received for a book concerning social justice is well deserved.
Kimberly H. (Stamford, CT) (03/09/10)

Girl Who Fell from The Sky
Over all I would say this is a good read for high school level students. An easy read, although a bit confusing at first, and lots of messages pertinent in today's world regarding biracial children and bullying.

The Aunt and Grandmother's character development were excellent. I read that this is somewhat autobiographical. If so, I am surprised there is not more anger at what happened to the main character and her family.
Lynn S. (LYNCH STATION, VA) (03/06/10)

The Girl Who Fell From the Sky, by Heidi W. Durrow, is a very uncommon story. I found the book easy to read in the sense that the prose is comfortable and natural. On the other hand, it was difficult for me to capture the characters and their relationship with each other during the first 50 pages. After that, I became awed by the struggle that occurred as daily events to the young protagonist, Rachel. While reading the book, both the “tragedy” and the “reality of Rachel” seemed to me to be fabricated. Much to my surprise (after hearing an interview with Ms. Durrow on NPR All Things Considered on March 2, 2010) I learned that both of these aspects of the book are based on true experiences. The story of the tragedy (which is unveiled gradually throughout the chapters) and its aftermath was interesting to me from a philosophical perspective and is based on a true story. The story of Rachel’s youth was otherwise and was actually autobiographical. In my opinion and more importantly than it being based on reality, the story of Rachel, herself, is what caused my compulsion to complete the book. How often are we told that people are people even if they are of different races or from different cultures? Yet, how seldom do we have the opportunity to learn about the inner experiences of a soul who is in fact bi-racial? In summary, I want to give Ms. Durrow the highest of praise…she made me look inside myself.
anonymous (03/06/10)

The Girl Who Fell From the Sky
The author packs a lot into this short book, touching on issues related to identity and racism and showing what it means to grow up and continue on in the wake of tragedy. The author's use of language and shifting points of view are very effective. The book would lend itself to an interesting discussion in book clubs and might be of interest to young adult readers. However, some might find that the book covers well-trod ground and contains characters that border on stereotype.
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