A Song for Bijou

A Song for Bijou

Book - 2013
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Seventh-grader Alex Schrader's life changes when he meets Bijou Doucet, a Haitian girl recently relocated to Brooklyn, and while he is determined to win her heart Alex also learns about dating rules and Haitian culture.
Publisher: New York : Walker Books for Young Readers, c2013.
ISBN: 9780802733948
Branch Call Number: FARRA
Characteristics: 296 p. ; 22 cm.

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OutsideTheBox
Aug 01, 2016

Seventh grader Alex Schrader goes to a boys’ Catholic school in Brooklyn. He’s not exactly at the top of the social heap, but he has a couple of friends. Alex’s buddy Nomura is okay, but their friend Ira is bordering on weird and his video-camera is always at his side and is usually on and recording. Alex is more interested in the new girl he sees one day after school, though. Luckily, Ira’s sister goes to the girls’ school nearby, and Alex is able to find out the new girl’s name -- Bijou-- and hopes to meet her at the school dance coming up. The two schools have a few social events every year, and Alex is doing all the research he can to learn more about this exotic-sounding girl from Haiti. Meanwhile, the two hot shots on campus, Trevor and Rocky, have noticed that Alex is interested in Bijou, and Alex is sure that no good can come of that. To make matters worse Rocky seems to be interested in Bijou too. Little do they know that Bijou’s very conservative family would not even let her choose her own clothes for a school dance much less even go out with a boy. Readers will learn a bit about Haitian culture as they read this narrative that eventually is told in two voices, Alex’s and Bijou’s. Will today’s kids relate to these two as they struggle to even have a phone conversation? Hard to say, but in this world of texting and social media this book will at least cause young readers to consider what it must be like for immigrant kids to try to assimilate in our fast-paced society with fewer restrictions on teens than ever before. @farrarbooks

m2 Jul 24, 2013

Lovely first crush/coming of age story about 2 NYC kids. Gentle and sweet. And yet it deals with real grief by the end, the struggle to regain equilibrium after a difficult loss. The enthusiasm with which this author pursued this story (not unlike Alex's pursuit of Bijou) is inspiring. Lead on, Mr. Farrar, I am following wherever you go!

ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD Jul 01, 2013

I call this book “middle school” but aside from the first crush storyline there’s nothing here that couldn’t be found in any middle grade novel. Presenting a story that’s been told in different versions before, but never with this particular setting, Farrar ends up making something ultimately pretty original in spite of its traditional background. A fine, fair little novel that will hopefully find its audience someday.

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azulexe
May 30, 2016

azulexe thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD Jul 01, 2013

ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

violet_jaguar_57 Mar 21, 2013

violet_jaguar_57 thinks this title is suitable for 9 years and over

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ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD Jul 01, 2013

Cue the soundtrack, the stars, the explosions, and the confetti. When Alex Shrader lays eyes on Bijou Doucet, it couldn’t be called anything but love at first sight. A kid who normally just bumbles his way through his day, Alex is suddenly thrilled with the prospect of finding out more about his sudden crush, and with a bit of research he has some answers. Bijou Doucet: Relatively new transfer from Haiti to St. Cat’s (the sister school to his own St. Chris) and mystery woman. Alex doesn’t know anything about her family (or her culture for that matter) but he is determined to learn more. Bijou, meanwhile, at first wants nothing to do with the strange but sweet boy that looks at her like she’s the sun, the moon, and the stars. In her family boys and girls don’t date or even hang out, but there’s something about this guy’s dogged persistence she begins to take to. Told in alternating points of view, Farrar dives into first crush situation where success seems utterly impossible, but maybe worth fighting for just the same.

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