Rachel Morse hasn’t felt like she fit in since she was sent to Portland to live with her paternal grandmother. The girl was forced to move after her mother and two siblings plunged to their deaths from a Chicago rooftop.
Rachel discovers race while learning that “black people don’t have blue eyes,” although she is and she does.
Rachel’s struggle to find her place in her new home and to understand the tragedy that put her there is the subject of Heidi Durrow’s book, The Girl Who Fell From the Sky.
Before moving to Oregon, Rachel didn’t realize that her blue eyes and brown skin mattered to other people. After the move, she begins to understand that many people use race as a basis for their expectations of others. This leaves the already traumatized girl confused about where she fits in and how she should behave in the mostly black community where she and her grandmother live.
As she struggles through her youth, Rachel and the reader begin to understand the tragedy that resulted in her current life circumstances. The reader also begins to understand the unusual ways that the book’s characters’ lives always have been connected.
Overall, I enjoyed the book and the unique perspective of race and cultural stereotypes through the eyes of a girl trying to find her place. The mystery of how and why Rachel’s family died also added to my interest in the storyline.
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