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The Amazing Life of Birds: The Twenty-Day…

The Amazing Life of Birds: The Twenty-Day Puberty Journal of Duane Homer…

by Gary Paulsen

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I think this book is great. The main idea is about a twelve year old boy going through puberty. The book is set up like a journal. It starts with day 1 up to day 20 of puberty of Duane Homer Leech. Throughout the book he explains his relationships with friends, family, girls, and the nest of birds outside his window. I found this book to be so true and comical. “...and last night I had a disturbing dream. Don’t worry. It wasn’t about ELBOWS(3).” This quote is one of my favorites. Throughout the book Duane says ELBOWS and quickly says things along the lines of “Yeah, right there in front of me, right then (38).” As a reader you get to enter the mind of a young boy going through puberty. As a female, I find this to be amusing and informational to an extent. Based on the quote, I liked how the author started the book with the beginning stages of puberty. Duane had emotional feelings before the physical changes of puberty. Symbolism is used in this book between Duane and the baby bird. I love how Duane is monitoring the progress and changes the baby bird has made. “Just two weeks ago he was an ugly little thing with bulging eyes and a huge mouth that seemed like it could swallow the world and now he’s almost grown (65).” This symbolizes the transformation Duane is going through as well as the baby bird. He can notice the positive changes in the bird, but majority negative changes in himself. He soon comes to terms with his feelings and makes his way through puberty. This book is awesome and I would love to pass it around to those who are dealing with puberty. ( )
  kfrey4 | Apr 14, 2015 |
A minor work by a pretty major author. I was hoping for more from this--something to give to about-to-be-adolescent boys other than Then Again, Maybe I Won't. Instead, the aspects of puberty that this book focuses on are entirely pimples and poor coordination, with some glossed-over "I think about girls" sentences here and there.

Note to authors: read Judy Blume. Understand how helpful she is for girls, in her frank handling of periods, physical development, and even masturbation, without sounding like a textbook. Now write something equivalent for boys. Please. ( )
  librarybrandy | Mar 29, 2013 |
Duane Homer Leech--DooDoo to his friends and the kids at school--is alarmed by what puberty is doing to his body and mind and keeps a brief journal comparing his development to the baby bird newly hatched outside his bedroom window. Funny, honest book. ( )
  mrs.kehoe | Oct 2, 2012 |
This book offers a humorous look into a young boy's life and the trials of having to experience puberty.

Katy Arnson, Fall 2010
  educ318 | Sep 10, 2010 |
Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for TeensReadToo.com

As a Gary Paulsen fan, I'm always on the lookout for his latest. When I found this slim volume, I at first thought I'd share it with the sixth or seventh grade teachers in my building. But then I read it, and I'll be honest, when I find one this good, I don't share. I'm really glad I kept it to myself because my 8th-grade students loved it.

Duane Homer Leech is twelve and suffers from the onset of puberty. Here are a few tidbits to tempt you ... Duane uses the word ELBOW to distract himself when he begins visualizing women's body parts in everything he comes in contact with. The code word ELBOW is used throughout the book to avoid actually mentioning anything unacceptable. The kids thought this was great! They also could relate to the fact that Duane could never predict what his body would do next. His changing voice and the constant eruption of pimples are just a few of the images that other teens and pre-teens can relate to.

Duane compares what he is going through to a bird family that has built a nest outside his window. He notes daily changes in the appearance and development of the new baby in the nest, complete with clever little sketches.

Once again, Gary Paulsen has a hit. If you are going through the teen years now or remember anything about those days of the past, find a copy of THE AMAZING LIFE OF BIRDS. It's a real hoot! ( )
  GeniusJen | Oct 9, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385746601, Hardcover)

Zit monster.

Puberty Werewolf.

Potty Boy.

Doo Doo Rules!

I’m Duane. Duane Homer Leech. Don’t ask.

I’m 12. And one week. What I want to know is, where is this whole puberty thing going? So far it’s just something put on earth to destroy me.

And I don’t have a clue what’s coming next.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:03:26 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

As twelve-year-old Duane endures the confusing and humiliating aspects of puberty, he watches a newborn bird in a nest on his windowsill begin to grow and become more independent, all of which he records in his journal.

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