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CALL ME ALASTAIR
By: LEONARDO, Cory
Middle Grade, Forthcoming
THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN meets FLORA & ULYSSES in CALL ME ALASTAIR, a middle grade contemporary novel about a curmudgeonly parrot, a precocious 12-year-old boy who dreams of being a doctor, and an eccentric old woman with a penchant for chocolate cherry crumble pie and red feather boas.
All Alastair the African Gray parrot wants in life is to fly off with his beloved sister, retire in a palm (or maybe a pine) tree, and feast on Norton Anthologies. But when Aggie is purchased by pet shop employee and pre-pre-med student Fritz, and Alastair is adopted by elderly dance-enthusiast Albertina Plopky (otherwise known as Bertie), the future looks grim.
In-between a recently developed nervous feather plucking habit, battling Bertie's cat Tiger, and finding his poetic voice, Alastair plots his way to a family reunion. But soon he’s forced to choose between the life he’s always dreamed of and admitting the truth: he’s actually a rotten care-giver, and 12-year-old Fritz and the eccentric widowed Bertie might be the best friends he's ever had. In the end, the boy, the widow, and one salty African Grey must discover that sometimes, the bravest adventure is in letting go.
CALL ME ALASTAIR is a humorous and heartfelt 53,000 word Middle Grade novel told in a mixture of Alastair's prose and poetry, Fritz's journal entries, and Bertie's letters.