Monday, June 23, 2014

A Bird on Water Street

Dulembo, Elizabeth. A Bird on Water Street. San Francisco, CA: Little Pickle Press, 2013.
A Bird on Water Street transports the reader to a place most Americans do not realize exist. Growing up in a mining town was not easy for 13-year-old Jack but it was the life he knew and, for the most part, loved. In many ways, Jack and his best friend Perin were like any other teenage boys. They liked to fish, dreaded school, and took on dangerous dares when taunted by the older boys. But Coppertown was unique in its own way. No one risked eating the fish caught in the waters surrounding the copper mill. School children took off running in the middle of a lesson at the sound of the alarm at the mill. As for dares, you will have to see for yourself!

Elizabeth Dulemba delivers this story with compassion and understanding of the culture of a mining community. She weaves a delicate balance between conservation of the environment and preservation of a way of life that brings pride to generations of miners and their families. Her story gives consideration to the benefit versus the liability of labor unions. Through her characters, Dulemba shows both the pressure and pride that can come from making an honest living.
The Author’s Note and Acknowledgements describe the extensive research Dulembo conducted on the topography and events of mining communities. She preserves the rich details of a fading culture with care.
In the end, the reader will be inspired to take action just as Jack did. For me, I relived my childhood dream of being a forest ranger and planted a tree. What can you do to make your world a better place?
A Bird on Water Street is Elizabeth’s first young adult novel and it has already received awards including the “2014 National Book Festival Featured Title for Georgia” and the “GOLD Mom’s Choice Award.” Her previous publications include a long list of children’s picture books including Lula's Brew, Soap, Soap, Soap, Glitter Girl and Crazy Cheese.


  1. What a nice thing for the book to have a call to action at the end.

  2. Elizabeth is a very talented writer. I believe she has another YA novel in the works!


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