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Flying Blind by Anna Myers
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Flying Blind

by Anna Myers

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From School Library Journal
This coming-of-age story, set in the early 20th century, is rich in historical and environmental detail as well as adventure. Abandoned by his mother as a baby, 13-year-old Ben has been raised by Professor Riley while traveling around the country with their Shakespearean Elocution Show selling magic elixir. The narration alternates between Ben and the Professor's caustic macaw, Murphy, whose sections are full of jealousy and resentment toward "the boy" who has monopolized the man's love and attention. When the unusual family travels into Florida, Murphy, who often has premonitions, becomes convinced that Ben has a dangerous and important task to accomplish-he must save the beautiful birds that are being massacred to provide feathers for fashionable hats. Ben is captivated by them, and horrified at their plight. When he gets involved with a brother and sister who are hunters because they are so poor that they have no other way to survive, he is torn. The Professor has taught Ben well, not only about literature and language, but also about fairness and compassion. He cares for the sick young hunter and two baby birds he has rescued from slaughter, and survives confrontations with a cruel hunter and a Florida panther. The narration by Murphy is an odd twist that doesn't always ring completely true. However, Ben's gradual realization that there are two valid sides to many issues, including hunting and medicine, shows his maturity and makes this a satisfying read.
Susan Oliver, Tampa-Hillsborough Public Library System, FL
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
  Everglades | Jan 8, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0802788793, Hardcover)

Suspend your disbelief as Anna Myers brings magical realism to the Everglades.

Ben Riley is growing restless. He feels uneasy selling the “magic” herbal elixir at his father’s traveling medicine shows. Unconvinced of the tonic’s effectiveness, Ben fears he is doing wrong by staying with his father—but where else can he go?

Murphy, the pet macaw his father has reared since before Ben was born, knows. A self-proclaimed extraordinary “seer,” Murphy receives a powerful message that he, Ben, and the professor must journey to Florida.

After telepathically convincing the professor to travel south, Murphy begins to realize the danger that awaits them there. Throughout the Everglades, tens of thousands of egrets are being killed for their beautiful
feathers, which adorn the hats of all the most fashionable women. Ben and Murphy know the killing must be stopped, but the lines between right and wrong become seriously blurred when Ben takes two orphans
under his wing who rely on feathering to stay alive.

Award-winning author Anna Myers once again showcases her talent at creating intriguing characters and page-turning drama in this coming-ofage story about courage, desperation, and hope set at the turn of the twentieth century.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:19 -0400)

Ben Riley and Murphy, the pet macaw, know the killing of egrets for their feathers must be stopped, but the lines between right and wrong become blurred when Ben meets two orphans who rely on feathering to stay alive.

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