Emilia and Teo's lives change in a fiery, terrifying instant when a bird strike brings down the plane their stunt pilot mothers are flying. Teo's mother dies immediately, but Em's survives and is determined to raise Teo according to his late mother's wishes - in a place where he won't be discriminated against because of the colour of his skin.
But in 1930s America, a white woman raising a black adoptive son alongside a white daughter is too often seen as a threat.
Seeking a home where her children won't be held back by ethnicity or gender, Rhoda brings Em and Teo to Ethiopia, and all three fall in love with the beautiful, peaceful country. But that peace is shattered by the threat of war with Italy, and teenage Em and Teo are drawn into the conflict. Will their devotion to their country, its culture and people, and each other be their downfall or their salvation?
In the tradition of her award-winning and best-selling Code Name Verity, Elizabeth Wein brings us another thrilling and deeply affecting novel that explores the bonds of friendship, the resilience of young pilots, and the strength of the human spirit.
©2015 Elizabeth Gatland (P)2015 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd
I am a huge fan of historical fiction and this book lives up to its promises. It was a thoughtful well put together story. I highly recommend it and will allow my sixth and eighth graders to read it.
I haven't come across a lot of historical fiction about Africa between the Great War and the Second World War, and that is what initially drew me to Black Dove and White Raven. The flight logs, the invented stories by Em and Teo, and journals just couldn't hold my attention. It felt too jolty. The adventures of Black Dove/White Raven would make an excellent novella for kids. The flight logs and journals showed the Ethiopian and Italian conflict through the eyes of children, and the heartbreak at innocence shattered in the time of war. Ethiopia comes to life through Em and Teo's description and vivid imagination. Yet, the side adventures leading up to the climax felt drawn out and dull a majority of the time. There were a couple of info dumps, with the adults explaining the current strife between Ethiopia and Italy, that I had to backtrack and relisten to.
Teo and his mysterious cargo he had to fly was a bit farfetched for me, along with his and Em's fate at the end.
It bothers me that in the time that Rhoda and her husband never tried to learn each other's native language. Their relationship was pretty nonexistent and I don't understand why they are still married.
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