(48) The Girl Who Fell From The Sky

Title: The Girl Who Fell from the Sky by Heidi W. Durrow
Publisher: Algonquin Books
272 pages
Genre: Fiction

Synopsis: Rachel, the daughter of a danish mother and a black G.I., becomes the sole survivor of a family tragedy after a fateful morning on their Chicago rooftop.

Forced to move to a new city, with her strict African American grandmother as her guardian, Rachel is thrust for the first time into a mostly black community, where her light brown skin, blue eyes, and beauty bring a constant stream of attention her way. It’s there, as she grows up and tries to swallow her grief, that she comes to understand how the mystery and tragedy of her mother might be connected to her own uncertain identity.

Review: Switching time periods and perspectives Heidi tells the story of Rachel, the girl who literally fell from the sky with the rest of her family.  Did they jump? Were they pushed?

Now Rachel is living in NY with her grandmother in an African-American community who doesn't understand her. She is black, yet she isn't she has blue eyes and light skin, because her mother is Danish and her father African-American.  Before she moved she didn't realize she was black, she never thought about what she was but now she has to try to figure out where she fits and make sense of what happened to her, her brother and sister and her mother.

Through the eyes of Rachel, her Aunt, her mothers employer, her father, her mothers journal entries and a young boy who witnessed the tragedy that befell this family you start to piece together what happened in the past that is helping to shape the future.  This book is tragic and magically, it pulls you in from the beginning and takes you on a journey that is heartbreaking and tragic yet also feels very honest and beautiful.


  1. I enjoyed this book. It was certainly a tragic story but it worked well for the theme. Here's my review: http://www.theprairielibrary.com/2010/02/girl-who-fell-from-sky-by-heidi-w.html. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.


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