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Dr. Bird's Advice for Sad Poets

Dr. Bird's Advice for Sad Poets

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“I hate myself but I love Walt Whitman, the kook. Always positive. I need to be more positive, so I wake myself up every morning with a song of myself.” Sixteen-year-old James Whitman has been yawping (à la Whitman) at his abusive father ever since he kicked his beloved older sister, Jorie, out of the house. James’s painful struggle with anxiety and depression—along with his ongoing quest to understand what led to his self-destructive sister’s exile—make for a heart-rending read, but his wild, exuberant Whitmanization of the world and keen sense of humor keep this emotionally charged debut novel buoyant.
“I hate myself but I love Walt Whitman, the kook. Always positive. I need to be more positive, so I wake myself up every morning with a song of myself.” Sixteen-year-old James Whitman has been yawping (à la Whitman) at his abusive father ever since he kicked his beloved older sister, Jorie, out of the house. James’s painful struggle with anxiety and depression—along with his ongoing quest to understand what led to his self-destructive sister’s exile—make for a heart-rending read, but his wild, exuberant Whitmanization of the world and keen sense of humor keep this emotionally charged debut novel buoyant.

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Publish date: Mar 5, 2013
Added to Scribd: Feb 13, 2013
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reservedISBN:9780544035652
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jengennari reviewed this
Rated 5/5
Incredibly good --funny, real (about depression about teenage lust, about bad people).
Publishers Weekly reviewed this
This sensitive first novel portrays the struggle of 16-year-old James Whit-man to overcome anxiety and depression. James blames himself for his older sister's expulsion from their home and estrangement from their bullying parents. Roskos effectively sketches James as a boy who is far more comfortable inside his own head than in connecting with others (case in point, he hugs trees to make himself feel better and seeks advice from Dr. Bird, an imaginary pigeon therapist). Throughout, James takes comfort in the poetry of Walt Whitman, often co-opting the writer's literary techniques in his narration ("I sound my morning yawp! I blast out my inner glow at the sunshine to try to shout it down. To have it lift me up. For someone, somewhere, to see me"). Friendships old and new, along with James's growing interest in his own poetry and photography, help him gain confidence and understanding, especially as he discovers unsettling secrets about his sister. Bravely facing real sorrow, James confronts his problems with grace and courage. Ages 14-up. Agent: Sara Crowe, Harvey Klinger. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

2013-02-04, Publishers Weekly
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