If I Could Fly review by Rainbow Shard
If I Could Fly: With Characters from "An Island Like You"
by Judith Ortiz Cofer
Age Range - 12 and up
Genre - Fiction
Five Star Award

LitPick Review

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Age at time of review - 13
Reviewer's Location - Lake City, IA, United States
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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. As time goes on with little improvement, she wishes that she, too, could spread her wings and fly.


This book blew me away! Doris is a magnificent protagonist, despite the terrible tests in her life. She defies teachers, friends, life (and gravity) in her search for a better life. I loved her story and the way everything seemed so real. I could see the apartment complex, the pigeon coop, Doris’s mother in her fancy salsa dress. This book has amazing detail, but more than that, it tells a story. Every teen goes through a time when they feel lost and hopeless, just wanting to get away. Doris is one of us, and her struggles can help us to overcome our own. 

Content Rating:

Content rating - some mature content

Explain your content rating: 

There were gangs and a pregnant teen in this book.

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