Curbside pickup and returns now available at 26 locations. View updated hours of operations here.

Tiny Sunbirds, Far Away: A Novel
(Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read)

Book Cover
Average Rating
Published:
Other Press 2011
Accelerated Reader:
IL: UG - BL: 4.2 - AR Pts: 16
Status:
Available from OverDrive
Description
Winner of the 2011 Costa First Novel AwardWhen their mother catches their father with another woman, twelve year-old Blessing and her fourteen-year-old brother, Ezikiel, are forced to leave their comfortable home in Lagos for a village in the Niger Delta, to live with their mother's family. Without running water or electricity, Warri is at first a nightmare for Blessing. Her mother is gone all day and works suspiciously late into the night to pay the children's school fees. Her brother, once a promising student, seems to be falling increasingly under the influence of the local group of violent teenage boys calling themselves Freedom Fighters. Her grandfather, a kind if misguided man, is trying on Islam as his new religion of choice, and is even considering the possibility of bringing in a second wife. But Blessing's grandmother, wise and practical, soon becomes a beloved mentor, teaching Blessing the ways of the midwife in rural Nigeria. Blessing is exposed to the horrors of genital mutilation and the devastation wrought on the environment by British and American oil companies. As Warri comes to feel like home, Blessing becomes increasingly aware of the threats to its safety, both from its unshakable but dangerous traditions and the relentless carelessness of the modern world. Tiny Sunbirds, Far Away is the witty and beautifully written story of one family's attempt to survive a new life they could never have imagined, struggling to find a deeper sense of identity along the way.
Also in This Series
Formats
Adobe EPUB eBook
Works on all eReaders (except Kindles), desktop computers and mobile devices with reading apps installed.
Kindle Book
Works on Kindles and devices with a Kindle app installed.
Need Help?
If you are having problem transferring a title to your device, please fill out this support form or visit the library so we can help you to use our eBooks and eAudio Books.
More Like This
Other Editions and Formats
More Copies In LINK+
Loading LINK+ Copies...
More Details
Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
05/10/2011
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781590514672
ASIN:
B004FGLXGU
Accelerated Reader:
UG
Level 4.2, 16 Points
Reviews from GoodReads
Loading GoodReads Reviews.
Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Christie Watson. (2011). Tiny Sunbirds, Far Away: A Novel. Other Press.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Christie Watson. 2011. Tiny Sunbirds, Far Away: A Novel. Other Press.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Christie Watson, Tiny Sunbirds, Far Away: A Novel. Other Press, 2011.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Christie Watson. Tiny Sunbirds, Far Away: A Novel. Other Press, 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.
Copy Details
LibraryOwnedAvailable
Shared Digital Collection11
Staff View
Grouped Work ID:
31d09d9a-47ac-ece0-d321-5881cc6c1c26
Go To Grouped Work
Needs Update?:
No
Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 18:40:20
Date Updated:
Dec 06, 2020 02:47:35
Last Metadata Check:
Jan 17, 2021 09:30:01
Last Metadata Change:
Dec 01, 2020 09:25:47
Last Availability Check:
Jan 17, 2021 09:30:04
Last Availability Change:
Jan 31, 2020 11:30:36
Last Grouped Work Modification Time:
Jan 18, 2021 02:26:43

OverDrive Product Record

images
    • cover:
        • href: https://img1.od-cdn.com/ImageType-100/0111-1/{F0F3BDC0-C9FE-488C-9005-92034EE85306}Img100.jpg
        • type: image/jpeg
    • thumbnail:
        • href: https://img1.od-cdn.com/ImageType-200/0111-1/{F0F3BDC0-C9FE-488C-9005-92034EE85306}Img200.jpg
        • type: image/jpeg
    • cover150Wide:
        • href: https://img1.od-cdn.com/ImageType-150/0111-1/F0F/3BD/C0/{F0F3BDC0-C9FE-488C-9005-92034EE85306}Img150.jpg
        • type: image/jpeg
    • cover300Wide:
        • href: https://img1.od-cdn.com/ImageType-400/0111-1/F0F/3BD/C0/{F0F3BDC0-C9FE-488C-9005-92034EE85306}Img400.jpg
        • type: image/jpeg
formats
      • identifiers:
            • type: ISBN
            • value: 9781590514672
            • type: PublisherCatalogNumber
            • value: 210641
      • name: Adobe EPUB eBook
      • id: ebook-epub-adobe
      • identifiers:
            • type: ISBN
            • value: 9781590514672
            • type: ASIN
            • value: B004FGLXGU
            • type: PublisherCatalogNumber
            • value: 210641
      • name: Kindle Book
      • id: ebook-kindle
      • identifiers:
            • type: ISBN
            • value: 9781590514672
            • type: PublisherCatalogNumber
            • value: 210641
      • name: OverDrive Read
      • id: ebook-overdrive
otherFormatIdentifiers
      • type: ISBN
      • value: 1590514661
mediaType
eBook
primaryCreator
    • role: Author
    • name: Christie Watson
title
Tiny Sunbirds, Far Away
dateAdded
2011-06-13T17:27:08.043-04:00
contentDetails
      • href: https://link.overdrive.com/?websiteID=141&titleID=489954
      • type: text/html
      • account:
          • name: Sacramento Public Library (CA)
          • id: 1151
sortTitle
Tiny Sunbirds Far Away A Novel
crossRefId
489954
subtitle
A Novel
id
f0f3bdc0-c9fe-488c-9005-92034ee85306
starRating
4.5

OverDrive MetaData

interestLevel
UG
isPublicDomain
False
formats
      • fileName: TinySunbirdsFarAway9781590514672
      • partCount: 0
      • fileSize: 2140191
      • identifiers:
            • type: ISBN
            • value: 9781590514672
            • type: PublisherCatalogNumber
            • value: 210641
      • rights:
            • type: Copying
            • value: 0
            • type: Printing
            • value: 0
            • type: Lending
            • value: 0
            • type: ReadAloud
            • value: 0
            • type: ExpirationRights
            • value: 0
      • name: Adobe EPUB eBook
      • id: ebook-epub-adobe
      • onSaleDate: 05/10/2011
      • samples:
            • source: From the book
            • formatType: ebook-epub-adobe
            • url: https://excerpts.cdn.overdrive.com/FormatType-410/0111-1/F0F/3BD/C0/TinySunbirdsFarAway9781590514672.epub
            • source: From the book
            • formatType: ebook-overdrive
            • url: https://samples.overdrive.com/?crid=F0F3BDC0-C9FE-488C-9005-92034EE85306&.epub-sample.overdrive.com
      • fileName: TinySunbirdsFarAway9781590514672
      • partCount: 0
      • fileSize: 0
      • identifiers:
            • type: ISBN
            • value: 9781590514672
            • type: ASIN
            • value: B004FGLXGU
            • type: PublisherCatalogNumber
            • value: 210641
      • name: Kindle Book
      • id: ebook-kindle
      • onSaleDate: 05/10/2011
      • samples:
            • source: From the book
            • formatType: ebook-epub-adobe
            • url: https://excerpts.cdn.overdrive.com/FormatType-410/0111-1/F0F/3BD/C0/TinySunbirdsFarAway9781590514672.epub
            • source: From the book
            • formatType: ebook-overdrive
            • url: https://samples.overdrive.com/?crid=F0F3BDC0-C9FE-488C-9005-92034EE85306&.epub-sample.overdrive.com
      • fileName: TinySunbirdsFarAway9781590514672
      • partCount: 0
      • fileSize: 0
      • identifiers:
            • type: ISBN
            • value: 9781590514672
            • type: PublisherCatalogNumber
            • value: 210641
      • name: OverDrive Read
      • id: ebook-overdrive
      • onSaleDate: 05/10/2011
      • samples:
            • source: From the book
            • formatType: ebook-epub-adobe
            • url: https://excerpts.cdn.overdrive.com/FormatType-410/0111-1/F0F/3BD/C0/TinySunbirdsFarAway9781590514672.epub
            • source: From the book
            • formatType: ebook-overdrive
            • url: https://samples.overdrive.com/?crid=F0F3BDC0-C9FE-488C-9005-92034EE85306&.epub-sample.overdrive.com
keywords
      • value: family
      • value: relationships
      • value: Friendship
      • value: literary fiction
      • value: road trip
      • value: health
      • value: Historical
      • value: motherhood
      • value: romance
      • value: sisters
      • value: parenting
      • value: Fiction
      • value: crime
      • value: novels
      • value: Coming of age
      • value: Identity
      • value: Death
      • value: families
      • value: love story
      • value: suspense
      • value: trauma
      • value: women
      • value: Short Stories
      • value: mystery
      • value: Drama
      • value: Women's Fiction
      • value: Modern
      • value: England
      • value: magical realism
      • value: race
      • value: grief
      • value: Contemporary Romance
      • value: feminism
      • value: Poverty
      • value: survival
      • value: Music
      • value: Chick Lit
      • value: Sociology
      • value: fiction books
      • value: fantasy
      • value: school
      • value: Literary
      • value: realistic fiction
      • value: gifts for women
      • value: gifts for her
      • value: realistic fiction books
      • value: women gifts
      • value: books fiction
creators
      • role: Author
      • fileAs: Watson, Christie
      • bioText: Christie Watson is a British novelist and pediatric nurse. She holds an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia, where she won the Malcolm Bradbury Memorial Bursary, and has since published short fiction and other writings in numerous publications including Wasafiri, Mslexia, Index on Censorship, The Guardian, and The Telegraph. Watson teaches creative writing at various institutions including Birkbeck University, the Groucho Club, and Cambridge University. She has won the Costa First Novel Award and Waverton Good Read Award for her first novel, Tiny Sunbirds, Far Away, and was named one of Red's Hot Women of the Year in 2012. She lives in London.
      • name: Christie Watson
publishDate
2011-05-10T00:00:00-04:00
ATOS
4
isOwnedByCollections
True
title
Tiny Sunbirds, Far Away
fullDescription
Winner of the 2011 Costa First Novel Award

When their mother catches their father with another woman, twelve year-old Blessing and her fourteen-year-old brother, Ezikiel, are forced to leave their comfortable home in Lagos for a village in the Niger Delta, to live with their mother's family. Without running water or electricity, Warri is at first a nightmare for Blessing. Her mother is gone all day and works suspiciously late into the night to pay the children's school fees. Her brother, once a promising student, seems to be falling increasingly under the influence of the local group of violent teenage boys calling themselves Freedom Fighters. Her grandfather, a kind if misguided man, is trying on Islam as his new religion of choice, and is even considering the possibility of bringing in a second wife.
But Blessing's grandmother, wise and practical, soon becomes a beloved mentor, teaching Blessing the ways of the midwife in rural Nigeria. Blessing is exposed to the horrors of genital mutilation and the devastation wrought on the environment by British and American oil companies. As Warri comes to feel like home, Blessing becomes increasingly aware of the threats to its safety, both from its unshakable but dangerous traditions and the relentless carelessness of the modern world. Tiny Sunbirds, Far Away is the witty and beautifully written story of one family's attempt to survive a new life they could never have imagined, struggling to find a deeper sense of identity along the way.
gradeLevels
      • value: Grade 2
      • value: Grade 3
reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: People Magazine
      • content: "A sure-footed debut narrated by 12-year-old Blessing, a girl growing up too fast in the troubled Niger Delta."
      • premium: False
      • source: Cleveland Plain Dealer
      • content: "[An] assured, absorbing first novel...Watson's cleanly told coming-of-age story generates real narrative momentum."
      • premium: False
      • source: Miami Herald
      • content: "Watson is generous in her assessment of human nature, and her novel surprises even as its sense of danger is never truly at bay...[An] ultimately triumphant book."
      • premium: False
      • source: Publishers Weekly, starred review
      • content: "[An] impressive debut...Watson's nuanced portrayal of daily life in Nigeria is peopled with flawed but tenacious characters who fight not only for survival but for dignity. Blessing is a wonderful narrator whose vivid impressions enliven Watson's sensual prose."
      • premium: False
      • source: Kirkus Reviews
      • content: "[An] absorbing first novel, told through the eyes of the bright and observant Blessing...a memorable debut novel about a Nigerian girl's coming of age."
      • premium: False
      • source: Library Journal
      • content: "Confronting issues of race, class, and religion, this work ponders idealistic ignorance in a way that is reminiscent of Chinua Achebe's No Longer at Ease. Watson's story will appeal to readers of African and literary fiction."
      • premium: False
      • source: Booklist
      • content: "Through the lens of young girl's coming-of-age, this breakthrough novel views the politics of contemporary Nigeria, portraying the clash between traditional and modern as it affects one extended family."
      • premium: False
      • source: Barnes and Noble Review
      • content: "A first novel that knows how to tell a story, concocting a voice that lures us. Perfect pitch is not reserved for musicians; some novelists have it, too. From the very first page of her very first book, Christie Watson proves she possesses it, creating a voice that tells a tale we can't put down."
      • premium: False
      • source: Giles Foden, author of The Last King of Scotland
      • content: "An excellent novel. It takes the reader deep into the reality of ordinary life in Nigeria and is also funny, moving and politically alert."
      • premium: False
      • source: Helon Habila, author of Oil on Water, winner of the Commonwealth Prize
      • content: "Christie Watson's debut novel, set in the troubled Niger Delta, does what fiction does best, it captures place and characters so well that you feel you are also there. It is sincere, it is powerfully written, and it deserves to be read."
      • premium: False
      • source: Chika Unigwe, author of On Black Sisters' Street
      • content: "Watson has written an immensely absorbing novel. It is both heart wrenching and consoling."
      • premium: False
      • source: Lesley Lokko, author of Sundowners, Saffron Skies, and Bitter Chocolate
      • content: "Lyrical and beautifully drawn, a poignant coming-of-age tale, set in an Africa few readers will have experienced. A must-read."
      • premium: False
      • source: Lola Shoneyin, author of The Secret Lives of Baba Segi's Wives

      • content: "The gripping, triumphant tale of a girl who chooses life over loss, in a sweet but savage world where oil is bled from the earth."
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        Starred review from March 28, 2011
        In Watson's impressive debut, 12-year-old Blessing is uprooted from her suburban Lagos, Nigeria, life when her mother Timi catches their father with another woman and moves Blessing and her brother, Ezikiel, to the outskirts of the dangerous, oil-rich Niger delta. The proximity to the oil fields, which erupt often in smoke, oil, and violence, exacerbates Ezikiel's poor health, and it's not long before a stray bullet sends him to the hospital. He survives, and takes up wandering the "evil forest" bush, home of the Sibeye boys, who kidnap oil workers and eat fireflies for strength. When Timi falls for a white oil worker, the Sibeyes become interested. Ezikiel takes up with them, discarding his dreams of becoming a doctor even as Blessing begins to help deliver babies, which gives her the confidence to take a stand against the genital mutilation that midwifes traditionally perform. Watson's nuanced portrayal of daily life in Nigeria is peopled with flawed but tenacious characters who fight not only for survival but for dignity. Blessing is a wonderful narrator whose vivid impressions enliven Watson's sensual prose.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        April 15, 2011

        Uprooted from the comforts of Lagos by her parents' divorce, a 12-year-old girl must cope with dire poverty and violence in the Niger delta.

        Watson's absorbing first novel, told through the eyes of the bright and observant Blessing, opens with a snapshot of middle-class contentment. She and her 14-year-old brother Ezikiel attend the International School for Future Leaders, live in an air-conditioned apartment and bask in the affection of their parents. But after their mother, a hotel worker, catches their father, an accountant, with another woman, they are forced to move to their grandmother's stark rural home—the hotel employs only married women. Blessing is shocked by the lack of electricity and running water, not to mention separate beds and safe food for her peanut-allergic brother. But gradually, she adjusts to the conditions, her eccentric relatives and her family's shift from Christian to Muslim practices. Trained as a midwife by her wise, centered grandmother, she gains a stronger sense of self even as her angry, alienated brother falls under the sway of a roving teenage gang. When her secretive mother becomes romantically involved with a well-off white man, who however decent works for a violently oppressive oil company, things intensify. Left to their own devices, the women bond together to stand up to corruption. Unlike her mother, Blessing ultimately rejects the dream of a Prince Charming whisking her off to a happier place by committing herself to her home, her homeland and her own family. The ending is a bit pat, and the book could use a few more sparks. That said, there's much to admire in Watson's measured, flowing prose and her avoidance of melodrama. Blessing is an appealing pre-teen protagonist.

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

        April 15, 2011

        Only a strong writer can create a lyrical novel that has the gripping quality of nonfiction, yet Watson captures this in her debut. Here she assumes the identity of 12-year-old Blessing, whose young life is marked by newness and uncertainty. The novel opens in Nigeria with the seemingly perfect life that Blessing shares with her mother, father, and older brother, Ezekiel. When Father, as he is known, suddenly casts them away for another woman, they take refuge with Blessing's maternal grandparents in a culture entirely different from the one to which they are accustomed. As the broken family copes with living sparely, Blessing comes to terms with the reality of her once "perfect" life and learns, through crooked law enforcement agents, unsympathetic teachers, and the violent Sibeye Boys, that the world is larger than she once thought and not nearly as welcoming. VERDICT Confronting issues of race, class, and religion, this work ponders idealistic ignorance in a way that is reminiscent of Chinua Achebe's No Longer at Ease. Watson's story will appeal to readers of African and literary fiction.--Ashanti White, Univ. of North Carolina, Greensboro

        Copyright 2011 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        April 1, 2011
        Through the lens of a young girls coming-of-age, this breakthrough novel views the politics of contemporary Nigeria, portraying the clash between traditional and modern as it affects one extended family. When Blessing, 12, has to leave her prosperous modern home and school in Lagos for her mothers rural family compound in the delta, she is shocked by having no water and electricity and no school to attend, but she slowly settles in and bonds with her mentor grandmother, who trains Blessing to be a midwife. The adjustment is never presented in simplistic terms. The old ways can be vicious, including Grandmas practice of female circumcision. Most moving is the breakdown of Blessings beloved gifted older brother, Ezekiel. Unable to attend school, he hates all whites and joins the violent rebels. Married to a Nigerian, Watson tells her story of culture clash without heavy messages, but the issues are sure to spark intense discussion, especially about the damage done to the environment and to the people by the powerful international oil industry in league with the corrupt government.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2011, American Library Association.)

popularity
113
links
    • self:
        • href: https://api.overdrive.com/v1/collections/v1L1BWwAAAA2I/products/f0f3bdc0-c9fe-488c-9005-92034ee85306/metadata
        • type: application/vnd.overdrive.api+json
id
f0f3bdc0-c9fe-488c-9005-92034ee85306
starRating
4.5
images
    • cover:
        • href: https://img1.od-cdn.com/ImageType-100/0111-1/{F0F3BDC0-C9FE-488C-9005-92034EE85306}Img100.jpg
        • type: image/jpeg
    • thumbnail:
        • href: https://img1.od-cdn.com/ImageType-200/0111-1/{F0F3BDC0-C9FE-488C-9005-92034EE85306}Img200.jpg
        • type: image/jpeg
    • cover150Wide:
        • href: https://img1.od-cdn.com/ImageType-150/0111-1/F0F/3BD/C0/{F0F3BDC0-C9FE-488C-9005-92034EE85306}Img150.jpg
        • type: image/jpeg
    • cover300Wide:
        • href: https://img1.od-cdn.com/ImageType-400/0111-1/F0F/3BD/C0/{F0F3BDC0-C9FE-488C-9005-92034EE85306}Img400.jpg
        • type: image/jpeg
isPublicPerformanceAllowed
False
languages
      • code: en
      • name: English
subjects
      • value: Fiction
      • value: Literature
publishDateText
05/10/2011
otherFormatIdentifiers
      • type: ISBN
      • value: 1590514661
mediaType
eBook
shortDescription
Winner of the 2011 Costa First Novel Award

When their mother catches their father with another woman, twelve year-old Blessing and her fourteen-year-old brother, Ezikiel, are forced to leave their comfortable home in Lagos for a village in the Niger Delta, to live with their mother's family. Without running water or electricity, Warri is at first a nightmare for Blessing. Her mother is gone all day and works suspiciously late into the night to pay the children's school fees. Her brother, once a promising student, seems to be falling increasingly under the influence of the local group of violent teenage boys calling themselves Freedom Fighters. Her grandfather, a kind if misguided man, is trying on Islam as his new religion of choice, and is even considering the possibility of bringing in a second wife.
But Blessing's grandmother, wise and practical, soon becomes a beloved mentor, teaching Blessing the ways of the midwife in rural Nigeria. Blessing is exposed to...
sortTitle
Tiny Sunbirds Far Away A Novel
crossRefId
489954
subtitle
A Novel
publisher
Other Press