Blackbird Fly


Apple Yengko has little to remember from her early childhood in the Philippines. That’s the way her mother wanted it. Now, her mother admonishes her for being ‘an American girl.’ In turn, Apple worries about the impression her mother makes on her friends, with her thrift, embarrassing apron, salmon and vinegar, and garlic rice.

Apple’s best friend Alyssa is concerned about the impression Apple makes on her. Apple’s rated third worst looking girl on the school ‘Dog Log’. Alyssa would move schools if her name was included! What can Apple do? She’s not as bad as Heleena, thankfully, but it’s a close run thing!

Yet, Apple’s focus is on the Beatles. She wants a guitar that she might learn to play ‘Blackbird’ and ‘Here Comes the Sun’. Her mother discourages Apple’s enthusiasm for composition and creative musicianship. Apple’s so confused about everything that she wishes she could ‘Blackbird Fly’ away from it all.

Erin Entrada Kelly takes us inside her characters’ heads and feelings. We sympathise with Apple’s dilemma and long for her to use her voice. ‘Blackbird Fly’ is a compassionate, realistic story about fitting in, standing out and being yourself. We love this story.


Blackbird Fly

Erin Entrada Kelly


Apple Yengko is on the Dog Log of the worst looking girls in school. Her best friend, Alyssa, saysthat she’d change schools if her name were to appear on that list! It matters to Alyssa. It matters to Apple too, but so does getting a guitar. She wants to learn to play ‘Blackbird’, her favourite Beatles’ track. Her mother says, ‘Save it for later.’ That’s what she always says. She wants Apple to behave like a good Filipino, while Apple is trying to behave American. No wonder she wishes she could ‘Blackbird Fly’ right away.

School Library Journal Best Book                                                   Kirkus Best Book


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