As the Crow Flies
As the Crow Flies

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Annotation: A black teenager with a non-heteronormative sexual identity finds herself stranded in a dangerous and unfamiliar place: an all-white Christian youth backpacking camp.
Catalog Number: #160057
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Special Formats: Graphic Novel Graphic Novel
Publisher: Consortium
Copyright Date: 2017
Edition Date: 2017
Pages: 250
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 1-945820-06-3 Perma-Bound: 0-7804-1066-1
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-945820-06-9 Perma-Bound: 978-0-7804-1066-4
Dewey: Fic
Language: English
Reviews:
Publishers Weekly
Gillman-s brutally honest and wrenchingly beautiful story of friendship explores the simultaneous pain and joy of being young and queer. On Charlie-s first day at a Christian sleepaway camp for girls, she sees what she believes to be a sign from God, but she has a crisis of faith after she discovers she-s the only black girl in attendance and the camp staff start treating her badly. Their cruelty only grows worse during her group-s hike to a centuries-old ceremonial retreat in the mountains. On the way, Charlie meets Sydney, a transgender girl who-s just as fed up with their privileged counselor and oblivious peers, and the two band together for support during the emotionally and physically grueling ordeal. The book is unflinching in its examination of how solidarity among white, cisgender women can harm others. Charlie-s pain is palpable, as are Sydney-s alienation and fear, producing a story that-s as resonant for marginalized readers as it is enlightening for those it critiques. Throughout, Gillman-s meticulously realized colored pencil landscapes remain impeccable. This book radiates love and melancholy in equal measure. (Nov.)

Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* When 13-year-old Charlie, a black, queer girl, embarks on a feminist Christian backpacking trip, she hopes it will deepen her relationship with God. The beautiful mountains they hike through certainly spotlight the majesty of creation, but Charlie's the only black girl, and the hike leader's whitewashed understanding of spirituality and feminism makes it hard to feel connected to a tradition so bound up with the history of white supremacy. Still, though, there are moments of grace: her new friendship and solidarity with Sydney, a trans girl keeping her identity a secret to avoid scorn; the attractive daughter of the group's leader, who takes Charlie under her wing; and moments of quiet contemplation in a beautiful place. Gillman's lush, warm artwork, rendered entirely in colored pencil, brings the gorgeous scenery lovingly to life. The soft, luminous scenes of the mountains and nature emphasize the enormity of Charlie's undertaking, both spiritually and physically, and her interactions with the other people on the trip, from snickering over outdated concepts with Sydney to bringing up uncomfortable topics with adults, are nicely paced and expressive. With arresting artwork, this coming-of-age story, originally published as a webcomic, sensitively explores religion, spirituality, feminism, and friendship and perfectly balance thought-provoking moments with heartening humor. Perfect for anyone who loved Gene Luen Yang's American Born Chinese (2007).
Reading Level: 7.0
Interest Level: 6-8

Charlie Lamonte is thirteen years old, queer, black, and questioning what was once a firm belief in God. So naturally, she's spending a week of her summer vacation stuck at an all-white Christian youth backpacking camp. As the journey wears on and the rhetoric wears thin, she can't help but poke holes in the pious obliviousness of this storied sanctuary with little regard for people like herself . . . or her fellow camper, Sydney.


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