by KAELA NOEL
You will never look at pigeons the same way again.
On a stormy night, Coo was abandoned by her mother, but this isn’t a sad story…
If Coo’s mother hadn’t left her on the sidewalk, Coo never would have met the Flock! In saving Coo, the Flock made a choice no pigeon has ever made before — they trusted a human. Then, they raised her. Being just a newborn when she met the pigeons, Coo has never known anything but life on the Roof and her little newspaper bed in the Dovecote. While caring for a “giant” is hard work, the Flock is well aware of the fact that Coo’s size has (repeatedly) protected the Flock from bloodthirsty hawks and the threat of starvation, but that doesn’t change the facts.
"The Flock comes first. Always."
To Coo’s adoptive pigeon family, the life of one pigeon is not what matters, but the survival of the Flock. Coo has never understood the pigeon’s apathy when it comes to the sick and injured pigeons, but she knows there must be a reason for the distance they keep. When Burr, the pigeon who found Coo, is injured, Coo is the only one in the Flock who is willing to take the risks involved in saving him. It’s because of Burr’s injury that Coo ends up living with a human known as “the healer,” who has knitted a strange sling for Burr’s wing and speaks in nothing but babbling nonsense — doesn’t she know how to speak Pigeon? And what is that thing she sleeps on? Where is her nest?
You have never seen the human world through eyes like Coo’s.
Coo is baffled by the strange habits of humans, but as she learns to communicate with Tully and Nikolas, and Aggie, she realizes that life in the Dovecote was…hard. She doesn’t want to go back, but she can’t just sit back and let her Flock be poisoned by the large men she saw lurking near the Roof. As Coo sees the injustice her Flock faces — the destruction of their home and the poisonous seed covering their nest — she is angry and confused by the way humans can’t just stop other humans from doing bad things.
In Coo, young readers find an ally; old readers find inspiration.
You simply can’t read Coo’s story without feeling something spark inside of you — passion, empathy, love. Coo’s perspective of the human world is both humorous and convicting, and it’s a welcome reminder that we are entirely capable of changing the world we live in. Even if it’s just for one person (or pigeon) — EVERYONE matters!
Questions for your readers:
Do you think animals have rights? Are those rights the same or different than the rights humans have?
Why do you think Coo was so kind to Roo-Hoo?
Hoot, Because of Winn Dixie, and Hotel for Dogs, you will love this story!
9+ due to some dangerous situations on rooftops and abandonment by a loved one