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Wingshooters: A Novel
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Akashic Books 2011
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Description
Left with her white grandparents, a biracial girl deals with abandonment in a 1970s rural Wisconsin town that doesn't easily accept change.
Michelle LeBeau, the child of a white American father and a Japanese mother, lives with her grandparents in Deerhorn, Wisconsin—a small town that had been entirely white before her arrival. Rejected and bullied, Michelle spends her time reading, avoiding fights, and roaming the countryside with her dog Brett. She idolizes her grandfather, Charlie LeBeau, an expert hunter and former minor league baseball player who is one of the town's most respected men. Charlie strongly disapproves of his son's marriage to Michelle's mother but dotes on his only grandchild.
This fragile peace is threatened when the expansion of the local clinic leads to the arrival of the Garretts, a young Black couple from Chicago. The Garretts' presence deeply upsets most of the residents of Deerhorn—when Mr. Garrett makes a controversial accusation against one of the town leaders, who is also Charlie LeBeau's best friend.
In the tradition of To Kill a Mockingbird, A River Runs Through It, and Snow Falling on Cedars, Revoyr's new novel examines the effects of change on a small, isolated town, the strengths and limits of community, and the sometimes-conflicting loyalties of family and justice. Set in the expansive countryside of Central Wisconsin, against the backdrop of Vietnam and the post-civil rights era, Wingshooters explores both connection and loss as well as the complex but enduring bonds of family.
Praise for Wingshooters
"A searing, anguished novel about racial bigotry in a small, insulated Wisconsin town named Deerhorn, where people who were born there tend not to leave . . . . The narration and pace of this novel are expertly calibrated as it explores a topic one wishes still wasn't so current." —Los Angeles Times
"Gripping and insightful." —Kirkus Reviews
"Remarkable . . . [an] accomplished story of family and the dangers of complacency in the face of questionable justice." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Revoyr writes rhapsodically of . . . the natural world and charts, with rising intensity, her resilient narrator's painful awakening to human failings and senseless violence . . . . Revoyr drives to the very heart of tragic ignorance, unreason, and savagery." —Booklist (starred review)
"Nina Revoyr is one of my favorite writers . . . Wingshooters is a gem of a novel—filled with beautiful language, thoughtful observations on life, deep heartache, and determined acceptance." —Lisa See, author of Shanghai Girls
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
02/08/2011
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781617750182
ASIN:
B004MPRDYA
Lexile measure:
1000
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Nina Revoyr. (2011). Wingshooters: A Novel. Akashic Books.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Nina Revoyr. 2011. Wingshooters: A Novel. Akashic Books.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Nina Revoyr, Wingshooters: A Novel. Akashic Books, 2011.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Nina Revoyr. Wingshooters: A Novel. Akashic Books, 2011. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Updated:
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title
Wingshooters
fullDescription
Left with her white grandparents, a biracial girl deals with abandonment in a 1970s rural Wisconsin town that doesn't easily accept change.
Michelle LeBeau, the child of a white American father and a Japanese mother, lives with her grandparents in Deerhorn, Wisconsin—a small town that had been entirely white before her arrival. Rejected and bullied, Michelle spends her time reading, avoiding fights, and roaming the countryside with her dog Brett. She idolizes her grandfather, Charlie LeBeau, an expert hunter and former minor league baseball player who is one of the town's most respected men. Charlie strongly disapproves of his son's marriage to Michelle's mother but dotes on his only grandchild.
This fragile peace is threatened when the expansion of the local clinic leads to the arrival of the Garretts, a young Black couple from Chicago. The Garretts' presence deeply upsets most of the residents of Deerhorn—when Mr. Garrett makes a controversial accusation against one of the town leaders, who is also Charlie LeBeau's best friend.
In the tradition of To Kill a Mockingbird, A River Runs Through It, and Snow Falling on Cedars, Revoyr's new novel examines the effects of change on a small, isolated town, the strengths and limits of community, and the sometimes-conflicting loyalties of family and justice. Set in the expansive countryside of Central Wisconsin, against the backdrop of Vietnam and the post-civil rights era, Wingshooters explores both connection and loss as well as the complex but enduring bonds of family.
Praise for Wingshooters
"A searing, anguished novel about racial bigotry in a small, insulated Wisconsin town named Deerhorn, where people who were born there tend not to leave . . . . The narration and pace of this novel are expertly calibrated as it explores a topic one wishes still wasn't so current." —Los Angeles Times
"Gripping and insightful." —Kirkus Reviews
"Remarkable . . . [an] accomplished story of family and the dangers of complacency in the face of questionable justice." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Revoyr writes rhapsodically of . . . the natural world and charts, with rising intensity, her resilient narrator's painful awakening to human failings and senseless violence . . . . Revoyr drives to the very heart of tragic ignorance, unreason, and savagery." —Booklist (starred review)
"Nina Revoyr is one of my favorite writers . . . Wingshooters is a gem of a novel—filled with beautiful language, thoughtful observations on life, deep heartache, and determined acceptance." —Lisa See, author of Shanghai Girls
gradeLevels
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      • value: Grade 6
      • value: Grade 7
reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Lisa See, author of Shanghai Girls
      • content:

        "Nina Revoyr is one of my favorite writers . . . Wingshooters is a gem of a novel--filled with beautiful language, thoughtful observations on life, deep heartache, and determined acceptance."

      • premium: False
      • source: Marian Wright Edelman, President, Children's Defense Fund
      • content: "Nina Revoyr's young protagonist and her searing, skillfully told story are unforgettable. Don't miss it."
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        Starred review from November 8, 2010
        Small towns are perhaps not famous for readily accepting outsiders, a lesson Michelle LeBeau, the protagonist of Revoyr's keen new novel, learns firsthand. Ten-year-old Michelle is the child of a Japanese mother who abandoned her husband and daughter and a father who was too busy chasing dreams to raise his daughter. Upon her arrival in 1973 Deerhorn, Wis., where she is to live with her grandparents, she becomes the first nonwhite in town, and thus a convenient target for taunting and bullying. Luckily, she has as adoring grand-father, Charlie LeBeau, and grandmother to sustain her and provide a firm family foundation. But when a young black couple, the Garretts, move to town—she a nurse, he a teacher—the town's sizable population of bigots make it clear the Garretts aren't welcome, the resentment peaking with a cascade of tragedies that have a big impact on Michelle's life. "The hardest thing about suffering a terrible loss is that you usually survive it," Michelle says, and Revoyr does a remarkable job of conveying Michelle's lost innocence and fear throughout this accomplished story of family and the dangers of complacency in the face of questionable justice.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        April 1, 2011

        Adjusting to life in a new country is difficult enough for most individuals. For nine-year-old Michelle LeBeau, the child of an American father and a Japanese mother, relocating from her birthplace in Japan to live with her grandparents in the fictional town of Deerhorn, WI, is especially complicated because her grandfather Charlie is a bigot. Michelle deftly narrates her struggles with being taunted at school for her appearance. But she eventually draws Charlie to her; he even teaches her some basic self-defense, and the bond between them grows. Michelle's problems with discrimination disappear when the town shifts its focus to the new African American couple, a nurse and her substitute-teacher husband. What follows is Revoyr's (The Age of Dreaming) hauntingly provocative and disturbing tale of blatant racism in small-town America. With shades of Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, this work is replete with racial epithets that may shock and offend some but are aptly suited in the context of the story. VERDICT Dealing with issues of race, relationships, and injustice, this tragic tale makes an excellent choice for book discussion groups as it will force readers to dig deep and look inward.--Shirley N. Quan, Orange Cty. P.L., Santa Ana, CA

        Copyright 2011 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        January 1, 2011

        Revoyr's fourth novel (Southland, 2008, etc.) is a coming-of-age saga in which racism cuts across loyalties between family and friends.

        It's the early 1970s, and post-Vietnam social turmoil is unabated. Not yet 10, Michelle LeBeau is left with her paternal grandparents in the blue-collar town of Deerhorn, Wis. Michelle's mother, a native of Japan, had abandoned her husband and daughter several years earlier, and Michelle's unstable, restless and disgruntled father thinks he can convince his wife to return, if he can only find her. Michelle feels abandoned when her father slips away without saying goodbye, but she also dotes on her grandfather, Charlie, a man who despised his son's interracial marriage but treasures the child it produced. He affectionately calls her "Mikey" and discovers that she is a willing participant in all things hunting and fishing that his son avoided. Told from the viewpoint of an adult Michelle, the novel rings with insight about the world of adults, even while it simultaneously portrays young Michelle authentically. Readers hurt when she is bullied, harassed and isolated because she is an exotic mixture of races, and readers understand when she discovers a version of her own troubles in the town's outright hatred of two other Deerhorn newcomers, an African-American couple, the Garretts. These characters--the woman a nurse, the husband a substitute teacher--are somewhat one dimensional, but nevertheless sympathetic and believable. Revoyr also does well in portraying the Garretts' primary nemesis, Earl Watson, "war hero and business leader and upstanding citizen." But Watson lives with a dark, brutal secret. The author is to be applauded for her ability to effectively portray Charlie, a thoroughly complex human being undone by grief when hatred and friendship, loyalty and love collide. As the adult Michelle wonders if "there are sins for which there is no redemption," the melancholy resolution concludes the narrative convincingly.

        Gripping and insightful.

        (COPYRIGHT (2011) KIRKUS REVIEWS/NIELSEN BUSINESS MEDIA, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.)

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        Starred review from February 15, 2011
        Revoyr continues her unique and affecting exploration of American racism in a concentrated novel that draws breathtaking contrasts between all that is beautiful in life and the malignancy of hate. Charlie, an alpha blue-collar male and a bigot like his buddies, is horrified when his son marries a Japanese exchange student. Yet when nine-year-old Michelle, his only grandchild, is abandoned by her estranged and feckless parents and left with her grandparents in their small, xenophobic Wisconsin town, Charlie loves her without restraint. As Deerhorns first and only person of color, Michelle is subjected to constant insults and assaults, so Charlie teaches her to fight and shoot a gun, as well as to appreciate nature and play baseball. He calls her Mike, and she is beyond tomboyish, roaming the countryside with her only friend, her dog. Then the Garretts, an African American coupleshes a nurse; hes a teacherarrive and ignite the towns worst fears and fury. Revoyr writes rhapsodically of a young girls enthrallment to the natural world and charts, with rising intensity, her resilient narrators painful awakening to human failings and senseless violence. In this shattering northern variation on To Kill a Mockingbird, Revoyr drives to the very heart of tragic ignorance, unreason, and savagery.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2011, American Library Association.)

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shortDescription
Left with her white grandparents, a biracial girl deals with abandonment in a 1970s rural Wisconsin town that doesn't easily accept change.
Michelle LeBeau, the child of a white American father and a Japanese mother, lives with her grandparents in Deerhorn, Wisconsin—a small town that had been entirely white before her arrival. Rejected and bullied, Michelle spends her time reading, avoiding fights, and roaming the countryside with her dog Brett. She idolizes her grandfather, Charlie LeBeau, an expert hunter and former minor league baseball player who is one of the town's most respected men. Charlie strongly disapproves of his son's marriage to Michelle's mother but dotes on his only grandchild.
This fragile peace is threatened when the expansion of the local clinic leads to the arrival of the Garretts, a young Black couple from Chicago. The Garretts' presence deeply upsets most of the residents of Deerhorn—when Mr. Garrett makes a controversial...
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