“Black Helicopters” Blythe Woolston

ARC (Advance Reading Copy). Published March 26, 2013. Candlewick Press. 166 p.

BlackHelicoptersFifteen-year-old Valkyrie tells her story through flashbacks, going back to when she was just 4 years old. At that time her mother was killed by black helicopters, so her father turns her and her brother Bo’s lives into some sort of living clandestine guerilla warfare operation. They are taught to fear and hate black helicopters, to stay out of sight at all times, and to learn battle, bomb making and survival tactics. Their goal is to get revenge on black helicopters and a mysterious group of individuals known as “Those People.”

Though the chapters are short and flash back and forth through time, readers are able to piece together a strange existence that Valkyrie, her father and brother believe to be perfectly normal. “Black Helicopters” allows readers to see into the mind and actions of a group of terrorists, and individuals within that group, but also gives a small glimpse into why they are set on their goals of terror. It is not for the fainthearted, and should be read by mature readers aged 14 and older.

After finishing “Black Helicopters,” I wasn’t sure if I wanted to throw it at the wall in frustration, disbelief or disgust. Throwing it was definitely an option. I’ll leave it up to you to decide it that’s your course of action when you’re done reading it.


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