Although the new girl at Raffi's school is small and fragile looking, he tices that she is quick on her feet. She ducks out of the way of classmates that try to grab her head scarf. It might look like a game, but Raffi sees the tears in her eyes. Raffi kws all about being different. He suffers from sickle cell anemia, which makes it hard for him to get around and a target for bullies. The new girl, Fatima, shares Raffi's interest in birds, and they feed the mourning doves together. Sadness sets in when the kids discover that the dove nest had been destroyed by the previous day's storm, but the return of Fatima's father, who had been missing since she and her mother had immigrated, brings inspiration to everyone. The next week, Fatima's father talks to their class about how his native country is being destroyed by war. By using the example of the dove nest in the storm, he offers the class a lesson about the disruption wars cause which even the bullying kids take to heart.
SYLVAIN MEUNIER was born in Lachine, Quebec, and has written several books for adults and children. Two of his novels, Le seul ami and L'Homme a la bicyclette, have been finalists for the Governor General's award.