If I Could Fly
If I Could Fly: With Characters from "An Island Like You"
If I Could Fly
Judith Ortiz Cofer
Fifteen-year-old Doris is used to taking care of herself. Her musician parents have always spent more time singing in nightclubs than watching after her. But when her ailing mother goes home to Puerto Rico to get well and pursue a singing career there, and her father finds a new girlfriend, Doris is more alone than she's ever been. Disconnected from her family and her best friends, who are intertwined in terrifying relationships with a violent classmate, Doris finds refuge in taking care of homing pigeons on her apartment building's roof. As Doris tries to make sense of it all, she learns that, just like the pigeons, she might have to fly far distances before she finds out where she belongs.

Book Details


  • Fiction

Age Level: 

  • 12 and up
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Doris is 15 and lives in the barrio with her parents, both musicians. She often spends her free time with the pigeons that live on the rooftop and their caretaker, Doña Iris. Then her mother faints during a performance, is diagnosed with a heart disease, and goes home to Puerto Rico without saying goodbye. Her father quickly finds a new girlfriend, leaving Doris with the fragments of her old life. Between her conflicted family and troubled friends, Doris’s only solace come from the pigeons.

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This book is about a fifteen year-old girl named Doris. Her parents are musicians who perform late at night at parties and club, so she is used to being home alone. However, when her mother leaves her and her father, her father finds a new girlfriend. An incident occurs when a violent classmate attacks her best friend. Doris is even more alone, so she seeks company with the pigeons on the roof of the apartment building she lives in. Doris finds what her full potential is and who she really is.

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