This is a young adult fiction story that I really enjoyed. It is about how hard life can be for a teenager, and how teens can cope. It is a good story for our time, given that there is so much depression around. Mental health is becoming an important priority for educators and parents as well as society in general.
Poppy used to be an optimist. But after a photo of her dressed as Rosie the Riveter is mocked online, she is having a lot of trouble seeing the good I the world. She can’t believe why anyone would do that.
As a result, Poppy trades her beloved vintage clothes for a feathered chicken costume and accepts a job as an anonymous sign waves outside a restaurant. One can’t help but feel sorry for Poppy and that she would reduce herself to a chicken in order to come out of her misery, so to speak. However, its not so much the chicken suit that helps her as the person she meets along the way.
While she is standing in a chicken costume, a six-year-old girl, called Miracle, helps Poppy see beyond her own pain, opening her eyes to the people around her. She is surrounded by people who are always hurting, such as her twin brother, who is adjusting to life as a gay teen, buck, a photographer who is mean and hurts people, and Lewis, a teen caring for an ailing parent while struggling to reach the final stages of his gender transition.
Suddenly, Poppy realized that she is not that badly off and that many people are struggling in their own ways, yet trying to make their lives in the ways that they know how.
In the process, Poppy stops glorifying the past and starts living in the present. She realizes that everyone is both good and bad. So, she feels stronger as a result. However, just as she thought her life may be getting back to normal, she suffers a deep betrayal, shaking her to the root.
This is a book about how everyone’s life is full of struggles. All we can hope for is to overcome obstacles, one at a time. And Poppy learns to do just that.
What a GREAT book!