Posted in Children's Lit

Bird, by Crystal Chan

Crystal Chan
2014 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers
ISBN – 9781442450905
Genre – Realistic Fiction
Age – Middle School
4 Stars

Jewell lives in the shadow of her brother, who died the day she was born. Her grandfather will no longer speak because he nicknamed her brother Bird. Thinking he could fl, he jumped off a cliff. Jewel is constantly trying to find the balance in between her mother’s practical nature and her father’s superstition. She is also trying to make it known that while her brother may have died, she is still very much alive and has her own needs.

The writing in this book was so lyrical that I kept reading. This is not normally my favorite type of book, but there was so much that I enjoyed. I appreciated the multicultural aspects in the book. The superstitions of Jamaica really added a fantastical element to the book. Coupled with the prose, it was really quite magical. At times I loved Jewell for being so honest with herself and everyone else, but other times I just felt that she was completely unrealistic. Jewell is strong in the way that she doesn’t give up. Even when things are hard and people are mean, she doesn’t stop trying. She is not the character that is strong in an unemotional way, she embraces her feelings, and lets them guide her through her rough times. Not only does this foster her own growth, but the growth of her friends and family as well.


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