Book reviews & writing tips from a wannabe YA writer
Title: The Key to the Golden Firebird
Author: Maureen Johnson
Category: Fiction, Young Adult
Why I Read It: Because you told me to!
Summary: After their father’s heart attack, their mom starts working overtime and it’s up to the three Gold sisters—May, Palmer, and Brooks—to pull through it on their own.
Review: This story is about how grief can turn you into a zombie. And Johnson’s humor was the perfect way to temper the heavy topic.
Here’s the first part of May’s story to give you a taste for the rest of the book:
May Gold’s actual name was Mayzie. As far as she knew, this was not a real name. It was a made-up, moon-man-language name based on Willie Mays, one of the most famous baseball players of all time.
All of the Gold girls were named after baseball players, a testament to their father’s obsessive love of the game. Brooks was named after Brooks Robinson, twenty-two-year veteran of the Baltimore Orioles. Palmer was named after Jim Palmer, who was considered to be the best pitcher in Orioles history. May’s sisters’ names had relevance in their lives. They played softball. (Palmer was, in fact, a pitcher.) Also, Brooks and Palmer were kind of cool-sounding names. May could imagine a Brooks or a Palmer working in a law firm or becoming a famous artist. Mayzie was someone who had a washing machine on her front porch and turned up on some trashy talk show for the “My Mom Married My Brother!” episode.
Did You Like This Book? Try: