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Catherine, Called Birdy by Karen Cushman
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Catherine, Called Birdy (1994)

by Karen Cushman

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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3,899641,896 (3.87)93
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English (63)  Catalan (1)  All languages (64)
Showing 1-5 of 63 (next | show all)
Set in the middle ages, this book is written in diary format. Catherine writes about her life as a woman in medieval times...From trying to avoid an arranged marriage to a "gruesome" man to some of the hygiene issues women faced, this book gives modern readers a glance into the life of a young woman and the trials she faced in 13th century England. "The thirteen-year-old daughter of an English country knight keeps a journal in which she records the events of her life, particularly her longing for adventures beyond the usual role of women and her efforts to avoid being married off." ( )
  Milliky | Jul 16, 2018 |
I remember seeing this all the time in my school library and in the Scholastic book order forms I would get in school but I never picked it up until I was an adult. It's about Catherine, who is nicknamed Birdy because she keeps so many pet birds, a girl living in medieval England. She records her life and accounts in a diary which surprisingly sounds like it could be written by a modern person. She hates the traditional feminine trappings of the middle ages like embroidery and marriage. She is betrothed to a horrendous and gross man twice her age, she'd rather become a knight than get married to an oaf. I really enjoyed reading this, I liked the character of Birdy and it seemed like Cushman enjoys writing about the middle ages and really did her research about the time period. I recommend this book for readers in grades 3 or 4 and up. I think it's an important addition to any library because there aren't many juvenile fiction books for kids set in the middle ages that aren't King Arthur or that are about women. It's aged pretty well given the time period it's set and a story I think young readers, especially young female readers, can relate to. It would make a great discussion in school about comparisons between present day and medieval times, like what is different and what has remained the same. ( )
  melissa_tullo | Jul 9, 2018 |
Catherine is a girl of marriageable age in medieval England, and she demonstrably doesn't want to. Get married off to some oaf, that is. So, she plays all sorts of pranks on her suitors and gets up to other shenanigans, all while worrying about her pregnant mother and avoiding her embroidery.
Another spunky female character born out of her time, and I was disappointed in the ending, which fizzled and didn't really follow with how her character had been drawn throughout the narrative. *shrug* ( )
  electrascaife | Jun 18, 2018 |
She's not your average damsel in distress...
  jhawn | Jul 31, 2017 |
I always associated this book with [b:Ella Enchanted|24337|Ella Enchanted|Gail Carson Levine|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1338459167s/24337.jpg|2485462], given that both featured fantastic lady leads who resist the order of things, Catherine's being impended by the social climate for women in the 13th century and Ella's taking the form of the obedience curse. It's great for really not softening too much of the world--the gruesome execution where all the vendors are out and it's treated like an event which still makes Catherine sick, the time she spends in the privy avoiding people that annoy here, the fact that the meat is sometimes a little rotting, the fact that her uncle back from the Crusades brings her the first orange she's ever seen. This was also the book that introduced me to the concept of Saints' Feasts because I grew up only knowing that you could be different kinds of Protestant and thought Catholics were a bit mythic... actually pretty much until I hit university.https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24137.Catherine_Called_Birdy# ( )
  likecymbeline | Apr 1, 2017 |
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» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Karen Cushmanprimary authorall editionscalculated
Hyman, Trina S.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Leister, BryanCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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This book is dedicated to Leah, Danielle, Megan, Molly, Pamela, and Tama, and to the imagination, hope and tenacity of all young women.
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I am commanded to write an account of my days: I am bit by fleas and plagued by family.
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
An English knight's daughter growing up in the Middle Ages keeps a diary as she struggles against her father's plans to marry her off to some wealthy boor.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0064405842, Paperback)

"Corpus Bones! I utterly loathe my life."

Catherine feels trapped. Her father is determined to marry her off to arich man--any rich man, no matter how awful.

But by wit, trickery, and luck, Catherine manages to send several would-be husbands packing. Then a shaggy-bearded suitor from the north comes to call--by far the oldest, ugliest, most revolting suitor of them all.

Unfortunately, he is also the richest.

Can a sharp-tongued, high-spirited, clever young maiden with a mind of her own actually lose the battle against an ill-mannered, piglike lord and an unimaginative, greedy toad of a father?

Deus! Not if Catherine has anything to say about it!

Catherine feels trapped. Her father is determined to marry her off to a rich man--any rich man, no mater how awful.
But by wit, trickery, and luck, Catherine manages to send several would-be husbands packing. Then a shaggy-bearded suitor from the north comes to call--by far the oldest, ugliest, most revolting suitor of them all.
Unfortunately, he is also the richest.
Can a sharp-tongued, high-spirited, clever young maiden with a mind of her own actualy lose the battle against an ill-mannared, piglike lord and an unimaginative, greedy toad of a father?
Deus! Not if Catherine has anything to say about it!

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:34 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

The thirteen-year-old daughter of an English country knight keeps a journal in which she records the events of her life, particularly her longing for adventures beyond the usual role of women and her efforts to avoid being married off.

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