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Birdie — Review

Thought for the Day:

“Don’t watch the clock: do what it does. Keep going.”
~ Sam Levenson ~

Gifts for My Writer Friends:

K. M. Allen has a good post HERE with 5 Writing Ideas to Transform a Boring Scene.

For me, excellent examples are such a terrific help. Writer’s Helping Writers has just such examples HERE on this show-don’t-tell post.

Janice Hardy at Fiction University has a terrific post HERE with wonderful examples of 5 Ways to Hook Your Readers.

Last week I offered a gently-used copy of Small as an Elephant by Jennifer Richard Jacobson to one of you. This week’s winner is Beth Schmelzer. Congratulations, Beth! I will get your book out to you soon. Our winner ruminates about reading and writing children’s books on her blog and has a special love for mysteries. You can see her blog HERE. I don’t have a giveaway this week, but I will next week. I do have a terrific book to review, so please keep reading.

BirdieIf you read books and magazines for children, you will often run across Eileen Spinelli‘s name. She is a very prolific writer. I heard she had a new book out called Birdie, and it sounded good to me. I was able to find it at my local library, so I don’t have a copy to give away.

Birdie Briggs is twelve. She has such a great love for birds, she chronicles every bird she encounters, even if she only hears and identifies their call. They help fill a big hole in her heart since her father, a firefighter, died in the line of duty. Now it’s just Birdie and her mom and her grandmother, Maymee, at home. At school, she has her best friends Nina and Martin. Birdie is starting to have feelings for Martin, but suddenly Nina and Martin are holding hands and spending time together, leaving Birdie feeling left out. Then Maymee starts dating a nice man and isn’t around quite as much. And then there is a police officer who is spending a lot of time at their house, and Birdie realizes he is interested in her mom. It’s a lot for a young girl to deal with.

eileen-spinelli-large
Eileen Spinelli

This is a terrific story and really nails how a girl that age would be affected by all these happenings. The writing is really fine, but it is structured in verse, and I didn’t feel like it was very lyrical. I wondered if it was just me, so I went over to Goodreads to read some other reviews. I was not alone. One of the reviewers there wrote, “The book is prose trying to play dress up and be something it’s not: poetry.” Perhaps all that white space will encourage reluctant readers to pick this one up. I really loved the story, so maybe it will garner more readers because of that structure. It’s a short book and can be easily read in one sitting. And isn’t that cover beautiful and evocative? I recommend Birdie, but I feel like I have to mention I don’t think it is really a verse novel.

No giveaway this week but check back next week. I am planning to have a giveaway then. And don’t forget to check for other Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday posts at the Greg Pattridge’s blog HERE.

31 thoughts on “Birdie — Review”

  1. I haven’t come across this book and have never read a Eileen Spinelli book—mostly because she usually writes picture and chapter books. I’ll be on the lookout for this one. I have read many of her husband Jerry Spinelli’s stories like Maniac McGee.
    Thanks for the great links and two helpful posts by Janice Hardy.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This sounds like a wonderful book! The topics you say the book discusses are things I’m sure many readers are dealing with and would want to read about. Thanks for the review!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This was another good review. It’s funny, but I have a hard time reading novels for any age if they are written in verse. I have read a couple and found I liked them, but some I just haven’t been able to get into. I suspect this book would be one of them.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I hadn’t heard of Birdie before, but I have read other books by this author. Glad to hear you enjoyed this one so much. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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