HomeGroupsTalkMoreZeitgeist
Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Loading...

As the Crow Flies

by Melanie Gillman

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1485142,884 (3.88)2
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.… (more)
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 2 mentions

Showing 5 of 5
A summer camp hike becomes an enthralling microcosm of a lot of today's hot topics: race, gender, sexuality, feminism, spirituality, microaggressions, bullying, and our relationship with nature.

The only flaw that really needs attention is the fact that the cover design does not include a clear indication that this is only the first volume of a series so the reader does not expect a complete story. I was worried as the book started running out of pages and shocked when the story just stopped. I rushed to Goodreads and was relieved to see other reviewers mention more of the story was forthcoming. It cannot come soon enough for me. ( )
  villemezbrown | Jul 28, 2018 |
Sometimes when you read outside of your comfort zone you are richly rewarded. And sometimes you remember why you don’t often read a certain genre. I freely admit I have trouble with graphic novels and I am not much of a YA reader so Melanie Gillman’s As the Crow Flies had two fronts on which to try and broaden my reading mind. Now, I have in the past come across a few YA novels and one or two graphic novels that I really, really enjoyed, so it can be done. Unfortunately, it just didn’t happen here.

The story is of Charlie, a thirteen-year old girl, who has been signed up for camp by her parents, apparently against her will. And it’s not just any camp but a majority white, Christian, feminist, Outdoor Experience camp when Charlie is black and queer and likes sitting on benches, not hiking and exploring. Charlie isn’t terribly open to the other campers or the experience right from the get-go, showing combinations of typical teenage attitude, unhappiness, and even depression. The only positive thing she can see about the whole experience is her immediate and all-encompassing crush on the lead counselor’s young adult daughter, which seems to be shorthand for declaring Charlie’s sexuality as it isn’t addressed any other way. With her crow’s feather talisman, Charlie plods through the uncomfortable experience of being in the minority in so many ways although meeting a transgender girl in the small group, as well as her crush help to make things less than consistently terrible. Gillman seems to want to criticize Christianity, white feminism, and cis-gender assumptions but it is a mild criticism for sure, manifesting mainly in Charlie’s conflict within herself about whether to confront the casual, thoughtless, and hurtful language the others use. And the story itself ends rather abruptly and without resolution, suggesting a sequel to wrap it up and perhaps to make more explicit what Gillman is trying to highlight here.

The art of the novel is rendered in colored pencil using muted, earthy tones, reflecting Charlie’s somber unhappiness and feelings of not belonging. There are pages of wordless and beautiful renderings of natural landscapes but the people are strangely cartoonish against the realistic drawings of nature. As the Crow Flies has been nominated for many industry awards, whether for its art or its story, I don’t know, so perhaps I have just entirely missed the boat like one of the unrealized and likely oblivious fellow campers Charlie is trapped with, so if you’re a graphic novel fan, and especially if you’re looking for one offering diversity in its main character, this might be for you. It just wasn’t for me. ( )
  whitreidtan | Jul 27, 2018 |
This graphic novel is beautifully illustrated but that's the only positive thing I can say. It started out on a high note and had a promise of delivering a real message of acceptance but unfortunately, it fell flat and went left. ( )
  DMPrice | Jul 27, 2018 |
Charlie is a black, queer teen about to go on a week-long Christian retreat for girls. All the others are white, and presumably straight (though she learns differently when it comes to Sydney), so Charlie feels really out of place. Also, she’s struggling with her faith and hoping that this retreat will somehow answer her questions about God. As Sydney and Charlie grow closer, Sydney confides that she is trans. Both girls deal with a variety of micro-aggressions from the rest of the group, who are generally well-meaning but often careless with their words. As the group climbs the three mountains, the group leader imparts more and more of the story of the pioneering women of the village who in the 1800s left their men folk behind in order to seek out a retreat for themselves as women.
The first thing you need to know about this book is that all the artwork is done with colored pencils. It’s magnificent. Melanie takes a medium usually reserved for children and turns it into something gorgeous and incredibly layered. I am mesmerized by their artwork. Of course the story is just as layered with various characters revealing more and more of themselves as the story goes along. Your conception of just about every character will be challenged in this book. This book is great for people of all ages, especially for queer teens. It’s wonderful to see trans representation in work for young adults (and created by a non-binary trans author/artist at that!) ( )
  Jessiqa | Jul 3, 2018 |
Charlie is 13, queer, black and questioning her faith in God. Her parents drop her off at a Christian summer camp where it turns out the other campers are all white. Charlie decides to stick it out although she pauses when the camp director talks about God "whitening our souls." As the group hikes and camps along a trail blazed by pioneer women, Charlie longs to hear God's voice again to help clear her confusion and ease her loneliness. She becomes friendly with Sydney (who turns out to be transgender) and they share a simpatico mind about their identities and the absurdity of the camp mission. The story ends with a sudden meeting of minds of Charlie, Sydney and Adelaide which felt off to me as we don't learn much about Adelaide over the course of the book. Still, the outsider who meets a kindred spirit is a reassuring theme. ( )
  Salsabrarian | Jun 23, 2018 |
Showing 5 of 5
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

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.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Quick Links

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.88)
0.5
1
1.5
2 3
2.5 1
3 4
3.5 5
4 18
4.5
5 9

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 159,240,879 books! | Top bar: Always visible