Bird

by Angela Johnson

Bird has run away from home, hoping to find her stepfather, Cecil. She thinks, just... read more

Bird has run away from home, hoping to find her stepfather, Cecil. She thinks, just maybe, she can convince him to come back. Now she’s hiding out in a shed, spying on Cecil’s relatives and hoping to make her heart and her family whole again. Ethan knows about the girl living in the shed, but he hasn’t told anyone. Once sickly, Ethan has never had the chance to make friends. A heart transplant has turned his health around, but it can’t erase years of loneliness. Ethan doesn’t know Bird’s connection to his Uncle C.L., but as he gets to know her, he finds himself feeling at home in his new heart for the first time. Jay finds himself wondering about Ethan. Does he like peanut butter? Jay’s older brother Derek did, and now Derek’s heart beats in Ethan’s chest, while Jay’s heart grows hard with the loss. But when Jay meets Bird, he discovers he can still know laughter. Chapters switch between the voices of these three children on the verge of adolescence whose lives intersect in remarkable ways, offering a unique look at each character from both the inside out and outside in. Angela Johnson deftly weaves a strong and delicate story about love, loss, and letting go. (Ages 10–13)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2005

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