Black Dove, White Raven
by Elizabeth Wein
My rating: 4.5 stars
Publication Date: March 31, 2015
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Genre: YA Historical Fiction
Print Length: 368 pages
Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Emilia and Teo's lives changed in a fiery, terrifying instant when a
bird strike brought down the plane their stunt pilot mothers were
flying. Teo's mother died immediately, but Em's survived, determined to
raise Teo according to his late mother's wishes-in a place where he
won't be discriminated against because of the color 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 bestselling 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.
Black Dove, White Raven by Elizabeth Wein
Prepare to go back in time to the 1930’s, when being a pilot was strictly a man’s world, and two women defied the gender and race barriers to become a dynamic duo in the heavens with their daredevil feats. One horrendous day, it all changed, two went up and only one came away alive in a freak crash that killed one of the finest pilots ever.
With Teo’s mother dead, Rhoda takes him in, determined he will live the life his mother wanted for him. Together with Emilia, her daughter, Rhoda journeys across the globe where Teo can grow up free to be proud of being a person of color. Together they discover the beauty that is Ethiopia, from its culture to its language, they embrace the freedom to be themselves, then Italy bares its fangs and war is imminent. Will Teo and Em be caught up in the hatred and fear? Will they be separated, never to find each other again? Will they find themselves having to choose what culture they will embrace as Teo’s talents for flying put him on the radar of the Ethiopian military? Will this country’s outdated customs become a stumbling block between Em and Teo or will their bond see them through? Can they make it back to each other?
There is a beauty in the writing style of Elizabeth Wein that shines through from the innocence of young Em And Teo to edgy and nervous tension that comes from Rhoda. Both Em and Teo have powerful voices that resonate with clarity as we are invited into their worlds. Ms. Wein clearly creates an historical atmosphere of a time when the color of one’s skin or their gender bring on huge limitations. Black Dove, White Raven is not a fast-paced action adventure, but rather a slice of the lives of two young people being pioneers in their own way during a time not quite ready to accept them for the value they provide for society.Written for young adults, there is the perfect amount of innocence and a wonderful portrayal of true friendship and loyalty against the odds.
I found these characters charming in their own way, adaptable to their environment and full of thought-provoking gems. Not for everyone, this tale of friendship, trust and acceptance will float through your mind long after that last page. 4.5 stars