We are carefully monitoring information about the coronavirus (COVID-19) and in effort to protect staff, customers and our communities, all locations will close for an undefined duration beginning Tuesday, March 17. We will not be charging fines during this period; please keep your materials at home until we reopen. For more information visit

Record Details

Catalog Search

Things seen from above / Shelley Pearsall ; illustrated by Xingye Jin.

Pearsall, Shelley, (author.). Jin, Xingye, (illustrator.).

Available copies

  • 3 of 3 copies available at LARL/NWRL Consortium.
  • 2 of 2 copies available at Lake Agassiz Regional Library. (Show preferred library)

Current holds

0 current holds with 3 total copies.

Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
Ada Public Library J PEA (Text) 33500013215215 New Available -
Crookston Public Library J PEA (Text) 33500013215207 New Available -
Greenbush Public Library j PEA (Text) 35500006273898 New Available -

Record details

  • ISBN: 1524717401
  • ISBN: 9781524717407
  • ISBN: 9781524717391
  • ISBN: 1524717398
  • Physical Description: 262 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
  • Edition: First edition.
  • Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, [2020]

Content descriptions

Summary, etc.:
April is looking for an escape from the sixth-grade lunch hour, which has become a social-scene nightmare, so she signs up to be a "buddy bench monitor" for the fourth graders' recess. Joey Byrd is a boy on the fringes, who wanders the playground alone, dragging his foot through the dirt. But over time, April realizes that Joey isn't just making random circles. When you look at his designs from above, a story emerges... Joey's "bird's eye" drawings reveal what he observes and thinks about every day. Told in alternating viewpoints--April's in text and Joey's mostly in art--the story gives the "whole picture" of what happens as these two outsiders find their rightful places.

  • Booklist Reviews : Booklist Reviews 2020 February #2
    To avoid the stress of the cafeteria, sixth-grader April spends her lunches as a playground Bench Buddy, watching and helping the fourth-graders. She quickly becomes intrigued by Joey Byrd, who keeps to himself, often walking in methodical circles or lying perfectly still on the ground for all of recess. Soon, however, she and another Bench Buddy discover that Joey actually sees the world from a bird's-eye view, and he is using his feet to create remarkable artwork in the playground wood chips, only visible from above. When his spectacular talent gets out, he goes from outcast to classroom star overnight, and April realizes she may have discovered a truly rare bird indeed. Inspired by the author's nephew who has similar visual-spatial gifting to Joey's, this book is a warm and gentle embrace of exceptional children, the recognition they deserve, and the sweet children who feel called to protect them. There's not much in the way of plot or conflict, but there is a wealth of moral fortitude and a tender, earnest quality to the tween relationships with one another and the adults around them. Grades 4-7. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.

Author Notes

A former teacher and museum historian, SHELLEY PEARSALL is now a full-time author. Her first novel, Trouble Don't Last, won the Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction. Her latest book was The Seventh Most Important Thing, which earned three starred reviews and was named an ALA Notable Book. To learn more about the author and her work, visit

Subject: Middle schools > Juvenile fiction.
Middle school students > Juvenile fiction.
School children > Juvenile fiction.
Bullying > Juvenile fiction.
Friendship > Juvenile fiction.
Art > Juvenile fiction.
Observation (Psychology) > Juvenile fiction.
Individuality > Juvenile fiction.

Additional Resources