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Bird by Angela Johnson

Bird (edition 2006)

by Angela Johnson

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201558,418 (3.71)4
Authors:Angela Johnson
Info:Puffin (2006), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 144 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Read November 2012, Young Adult

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Bird by Angela Johnson



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BIRD is told from three points of view: a runaway, a young heart transplant recipient, and a boy who has just lost a brother. The threesome find one another as they search for love and connections.
  KilmerMSLibrary | Apr 30, 2013 |
This is a tale told from the perspective of three people.

Bird is thirteen and lost one father to death and her step father recently abandoned her and her mother. Missing him, she vows to track him down and bring him back to his family.

Taking a bus from Ohio to Alabama is a brave thing to do. With no planning, she arrives in a sleepy town where she believes her step father now resides.

Hiding out in a shed in the backyard of a family, she watches carefully and then sneaks food and warmth when they leave the house for church.

Soon, Ethan, an inhabitant of the house, discovers her and builds a relationship. Surviving a heart transplant surgery gives him courage to live a new life and Bird's spirit attracts him.

Jay is mourning the death of his brother. Previously sharing a bedroom with him, Jay refuses to allow his mother to remove his items. Hurting and acting out, Jay struggles.

The author weaves three separate characters into a story of two hearts that are breaking and another that is trying to accept the gift of renewal and life.

While poetic and well written, I had difficulty accepting the blunt, sudden ending which detracted from the beauty of the story. ( )
1 vote Whisper1 | Nov 8, 2012 |
Book Talk: This book is about three kids. Bird is a runaway, but she’s trying to find something, not to get away from something. Her stepfather has gone missing, and Bird’s trying to find him. Ethan is a boy who almost died, but got a heart transplant just in time. He can run for the first time in his life. Jay is a boy whose brother just died, and he’s dealing with it by stealing cars and going for joy rides. Then he gets picked up by the police. Their lives are all connected, and you’ll get to see how their woven together in this book, Bird, by Angela Johnson. ( )
  BattenLibrary | Sep 15, 2011 |
How does someone heal when they have been abandoned by someone they love? Or when a brother, someone far too young, suddenly dies? How does someone who has spent their whole life too sick to participate in daily things suddenly discover how to live because they received a new heart? Sadness and loneliness come in many packages. Bird, a young girl discovers the power of healing when she leaves home looking for her stepfather. She is willing to live alone in a shed and eat table scraps until she realizes her dream of taking Cecil back home and restoring her family.

This beautiful story is told in lyrical, vivid language. The reader sees the events unfold from the perspective of three different characters as they interact. Bird sees how these people are connected but she is only passing through. She says, "All these people going in and out of their houses in this place I'm gonna leave anytime, they don't belong to me. I'm borrowing them until I get what I came for." But while Bird is in Acorn, Alabama, her compassion brings healing to those she encounters. ( )
  mscoopsyalist | Feb 10, 2010 |
Richie's Picks: BIRD by Angela Johnson, Penguin Group/Dial, October 2004, 132 pages, ISBN: 0-8037-2847-6

"People struggle, people fight
For the simple pleasures in their lives
The trouble comes from everywhere
It's a little more than you can bear

I know that it will hurt
I know it will break your heart the way things are
And the way they've been
And the way they've always been"
--Natalie Merchant

BIRD is an exquisitely crafted tale, expressed in the trio of young voices through which Angela Johnson explores matters of the heart--both metaphorically and literally.

"And I wonder what the farmhouse people would do if I just walked up to them and said, 'Hey.' "

Thirteen-year-old Bird is the first of those narrators. Brokenhearted, she has run away from her home in Ohio in hopes of retrieving her departed stepfather, Cecil.

"Ethan holds his chest when he talks and Jay talks like his heart is in his hands."

Ethan and Jay provide the story's two other voices. After having taken a bus to Alabama, Bird has found shelter in the old shed outside of Ethan's home.

"Even in this little town I don't think they know each other."

Ethan had almost died. But the death of a boy in his town gave Ethan a new lease on life. That boy who died was Jay's brother, Derek.

But why has Bird chosen to come here?

"I miss my mom.
"I even miss the people here that I can see every day if I want.
'Cause they aren't mine. All these people going in and out of their houses in this place I'm gonna leave anytime--they don't belong to me.
"I'm borrowing them until I get what I came for.
"Hope it's not wrong to borrow them. It doesn't mean I don't like them or care about them. I'm only passing through and borrowing."

Bird's quiet alightment in the boys' town brings heart to all those with whom she comes in contact.

"My arms are lighter when I walk back to the house."

Beautifully written and ending all too soon, Angela Johnson's bittersweet story of love, life, and loss is one that is sure to touch readers.

Richie Partington
BudNotBuddy@aol.com ( )
  richiespicks | May 24, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0142405442, Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:09 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

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.

(summary from another edition)

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Angela Johnson is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

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