Angela Johnson Bird

ISBN 13: 9780803728479

Bird

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9780803728479: Bird
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Devastated by the loss of a second father, thirteen-year-old Bird follows her stepfather from Cleveland to Alabama in hopes of convincing him to come home, and along the way helps two boys cope with their difficulties.

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About the Author:

Angela Johnson is the author of numerous books for children and young adults. She has won three Coretta Scott King Awards for her novels HeavenToning the Sweep, and The First Part Last, the Michael L. Printz Award for The First Part Last, and a Coretta Scott King Honor for her picture book When I Am Old with You. In recognition of her outstanding talent, Angela was named a 2003 MacArthur Fellow. She lives in Kent, Ohio.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 5-8–An open-ended, interconnected narrative in three voices. Bird, 13, has run away from Cleveland to rural Alabama, trying to find her stepfather, Cecil, and bring him home. Ethan, who turns out to be Cecil's nephew, is adjusting to the freedom that a heart transplant affords him. Jay is grieving for his brother, whose death provided the necessary heart. Bird hides out in a shed on Ethan's family's farm, convinced that Cecil will come because she'd seen Ethan in the man's photographs. She soon gets lonely. Conveniently, Ethan, who has been socially isolated by his illness, is anxious to befriend her. Jay knows about Ethan, but cannot bring himself to approach the younger boy. Persuaded by his best friend to "borrow" an elderly neighbor's car, Jay winds up under house arrest, but sneaks out and encounters Bird himself. The owner of the stolen car, Mrs. Pritchard, offers Bird refuge at her house, providing her comfort through good food and a patient, nonjudgmental ear. Johnson reveals the inner thoughts of these characters, as they move around one another, occasionally touching, but preoccupied with their individual problems. Readers see how small kindnesses can ease the grip of grief and how large gestures–the literal giving of a heart–can redound to the giver's credit. Much is left unresolved by the conclusion of the book, but the many truths about human emotion and interaction are exposed for readers' examination.–Miriam Lang Budin, Chappaqua Public Library, NY
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