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The Aviary by Kathleen O'Dell

The Aviary (edition 2012)

by Kathleen O'Dell

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1411384,466 (3.88)12
Title:The Aviary
Authors:Kathleen O'Dell
Info:Yearling (2012), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 352 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Tags:fiction, middle grade, history, fantasy, supernatural, ghosts, death, mystery

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The Aviary by Kathleen O'Dell


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Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
Good mystery! Interesting story. I found the ending a bit confusing. Maybe I was reading too fast because it was such a page turner. ( )
  njcur | Feb 13, 2014 |
This is a tough one to rate. I really like the characters, the relationships, and the way the author commits to making each moment in the story live. The 19th century setting is very believable. But the fantasy element seems tentative, almost as though the author is afraid of it, and I do wonder if she has written fantasy before and keeps up with what contemporary middle grade fantasy is like. That's not to say there won't be many fans of this book among kids. It has a very solid, classic feel to it, and may appeal more to fans of historical fiction than fantasy. ( )
  Inky_Fingers | Oct 11, 2013 |
The Aviary was spine tingling Gothic novel. It was so intriguing and suspenseful I read it in one sitting! Clara Dooley lives in the dilapidated Glendoveer mansion with her mother the housekeeper, Ruby the cook and ailing Mrs. Glendoveer. Clara lives a very sheltered life with only adults for company and the mysterious birds in the aviary. When Mrs. Glendoveer passes away, Clara longs to know the secrets of her identity and the mystery.that surrounds the Glendoveer family. This book was at heartwarming as it was chilling. Clara, is a bright and kind hearted girl who has charm and a courageous spirit. I was cheering Clara on throughout the story in her search for the truth. Although, this book is aimed at middle grade readers it could be enjoyed by older readers as well ( )
  68papyrus | Aug 5, 2013 |
Eleven-year-old Clara has always lived in the old Glendoveer house -- her mother is housekeeper and caretaker for the elderly Mrs. Glendoveer, the only surviving member of the Glendoveer family. Clara has always been considered "delicate" and is rarely allowed to leave the house, but she knows that the people in the neighborhood are a little afraid of the Glendoveer house and its inhabitants. Clara knows she has nothing to fear from the house, or from sweet old Mrs. Glendoveer, but she is rather frightened of the five exotic birds in the aviary -- especially when one of them begins to shriek at her in what sounds like Latin. She tells Mrs. Glendoveer about the speaking bird, and Mrs. Glendoveer encourages her to listen and learn more about the birds. Shortly after that conversation, however, Mrs. Glendoveer dies. Can Clara solve the mystery of the aviary and the tragic history of the Glendoveer family on her own?

For me, this was one of those books that I liked but didn't love, which makes it difficult to review. The characters were interesting enough, though I felt the pacing lagged in places. The overall atmosphere was well done, and I feel like there aren't very many Gothic books for children, so I hope this one finds its audience. ( )
  foggidawn | May 29, 2013 |
Every time I stumble across a book like Kathleen O'Dell's The Aviary, I'm amazed that more readers - of all ages - don't read middle grade. The Aviary is very Gothic in setting and tone and simultaneously bursting with colorful characters, a unique combination. There are secrets and magic, plus a good dose of realism and a lesson or two as well. It actually reminded me a bit of Ransom Riggs' Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.

The main character, Clara, is a delightful character: headstrong, adventurous, and incurably curious. I would have enjoyed The Aviary based solely on the premise and setting, but Clara made me love it. Her curiosity was engaging and infectious, ensuring that the reader was never plagued by a dull moment or stale passage, simply because Clara herself was always plotting her next move and going off on some adventure.

Since The Aviary is in many respects a mystery, there are many great elements I feel I can't really comment on in much depth. I can, however, say that every detail in The Aviary comes together quite elegantly and I was left completely satisfied by the ending. I spent much of the novel hypothesizing about how everything fit together... I liked that the mystery wasn't ridiculously easy to solve, but all the pieces of the puzzle were there, waiting to be put together by the reader and the intrepid Clara.

The Aviary is one of wonderful titles that can be enjoyed by a wide variety of readers. It is, plain and simple, a wonderfully written and imagined novel and didn't feel at all confined to one specific reading level. It could easily be a read for the whole family and will appeal to those who usually read young adult or adult titles. ( )
  thehidingspot | May 10, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375856056, Hardcover)

Twelve-year-old Clara Dooley has spent her whole life in the Glendoveer mansion, where her mother is a servant to the kind and elderly matron of the house. Clara has never known another home. In fact, she's confined to the grand estate due to a mysterious heart condition. But it's a comfortable life, and if it weren't for the creepy squawking birds in the aviary out back, a completely peaceful one too.

But once old Mrs. Glendoveer passes away, Clara comes to learn many dark secrets about the family. The Glendoveers suffered a horrific tragedy: their children were kidnapped, then drowned. And their father George Glendoveer, a famous magician and illusionist, stood accused until his death. As Clara digs deeper and deeper into the terrifying events, the five birds in the aviary seem to be trying to tell her something. And Clara comes to wonder: what is their true identity? Clara sets out to solve a decades-old murder mystery—and in doing so, unlocks a secret in her own life, too. Kathleen O'Dell deftly weaves magic, secret identities, evil villians, unlikely heroes, and the wonder of friendship into a mystery adventure with all the charm of an old fashioned classic.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:36:22 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

In late nineteenth-century Maine, isolated, eleven-year-old Clara Dooley gains a friend and uncovers a magical secret that changes her life when she learns to care for the once-feared birds in the aviary attached to the Glendoveer mansion where she lives.… (more)

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