ISBN: 0142405442
ISBN 13: 9780142405444
By: Angela Johnson

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7th Grade Books African American Currently Reading Fiction Realistic Fiction Teen To Read Ya Young Adult Young Adult Lit

About this book

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.

Reader's Thoughts

Hannah Nelson

This was a really cute book! It was interesting because it was told from the first person point of view from three different characters who ended up being connected in some way. The first chapter was Bird, then Ethan, then Jay, then Bird, Ethan, ... It was a cool way to tell a story. The story kind of revolves around Bird though. she is a 13 year old girl who runs away to find her step father who left her mother and her recently. She secretly lives in the shed out back of Ethans house who you find out is her stepfather, Cecil's, nephew. Ethan is also a little boy was really sick every since he was very young and finally had a heart transplant. Jay is the older brother of the little boy who died and gave his heart to Ethan. They live in the same town and each is going through some hard issue in life. It is a very sweet little coming of age story of real life problems and of friendship between these struggling kids. I really enjoyed it!

Jason Allen

This book is a very interesting one, because it explores several issues in a very careful way. I especially enjoyed the way that Johnson casually moved from character to character, which if not done correctly I typically find very distracting. In this instance however, I thought that it was done very well and that it added an interesting level to the story. I also thought that each of the characters moved well through the story and that each character's resolutions were relatively satisfying. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading. I thought that it was well written and that the stories were very interesting. I think that this story would be good for those who have issues at home, or with feelings of abandonment perhaps. More specifically, I think that this book is good for younger readers, because it isn't too complex or overly long, but it does still feature an interesting story and excellent writing. I think that this book is good for virtually anyone, and I would also recommend it to more advanced readers who are searching for something relatively simple. WarningViolence: Nothing to worry about.Language: Nothing to worry about.Sex: Nothing to worry about.Rock and Roll: Nothing to worry about.


Just like all of Angela Johnson's novels, I loved this one. She really can tell a story that makes you want to keep reading, to find out how the character resolves their conflict. This story was particularly sweet because of all the bravery the characters have to muster to calm their inner struggles.I would give this book to any reader. The "running away from home" part may not be as realistic as all situations that young adults are in, but the feelings and the thought processes are easy to Identify with. Such a sweet story.Violence - noLanguage - a little bitSex - NoAlcohol/Drugs - Not that I rememberRebellious behavior - running away from home & car theft

Sophia Regan

This book was confusing... But amazing, usually books with multiple perspectives I don't like but this one is truly written well. I really love the way they are connected to each other and different perspectives on the same thing

Natalie Rose

Bird is a thirteen year old runaway. She left her hometown of Cleveland in search of her stepfather who walked out on her mother and her. He is the second father that she has lost in her lifetime, her own father died when she was very young and she only has a few happy memories with him. Her search brings her to the quiet town of Acorn, Alabama. It is here, that she befriends two boys around her age. This story unfolds through each of their perspectives. Since the author is telling us this story through the eyes of these three young souls, we get a glimpse into their lives and see that each of them is dealing with their own personal struggles. While Bird is in this small community she touches the hearts of the few that she comes into contact with. Jay had just lost his young brother with whom he was very close and he is broken hearted. Ethan is a boy who grew up being very sick and lonely, until he receives a heart transplant and now is able to do things that he had never been able to do before. He is trying to accept this gift of life that he has been given. All three of these characters are very much intertwined and Bird sees this connection but she doesn't want to interfere too much in their lives because she is only "passing through". She says "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 going to leave anytime-they don't belong to me. I am 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." This story is unique and beautifully written. It’s a quick read and I highly recommend this book, which would be ideal for sixth to eight graders. At that age I feel students might be able to relate to the emotions of these three characters. It is a touching story that teaches it's readers about life and loss and overcoming pain and obstacles. I found the book to be engaging from cover to cover, although I will say that I felt as though it ended rather abruptly and left me with some unanswered questions.

Mira Lamb

I was really surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. When I had picked it up, I hadn’t really been expecting much, but I really fell in love with the kids in the story. I was impressed with how Johnson wrote this because the story followed three different kids, but their stories intertwined. The diction was really great, and it all flowed really well. It was a super quick read – it only took me an hour and a half to read it. I read it in between two classes, but despite its length, it was really great. I really felt like Johnson broke a barrier with the characters in this book because typically, kids who as young as the characters in Bird are 2D and stereotypical children who are silly and immature and don’t have any cares in the world. Johnson’s characters are deep and beautiful, and I think that is how real children are. I think too often, authors are condescending to their younger characters and don’t give young people enough credit. I recommended this book to my younger sister who has just recently gotten into reading; it’s quick, it’s short, and the characters are her age. I really think that she will enjoy it. I also recommended this to my other sister -- who isn’t into reading -- because it was such a great but easy read. Violence: noneSex: noneLanguage: very, very mildDrugs: none

David Despain

I can honestly say I really enjoyed this book. Honestly, the jury's still out on whether it is a favorite. I love books about connections between people. I am a strong believer in the fact that all people are interconnected. AS short as it is it is a beautifully written novel. I love how all the lives of the character are woven together in both predictable and unpredictable ways. I heard complaints about the ending of this books but I thought it was really good. This is a book with more depth than appears on the surface,I feel like a could read it again and gain something from it. In fact, that I would read it again indicates how much I enjoyed this book. It is one that I am still mulling over in my mind, there is just so much there. Language: Mild swearing D--n, G-d, etc. Sex: None, unless a missed something.Violence: Actually despite some moments of thievery.


I'm honestly not really sure what I thought of this book. It was short and easy to read, but I had a hard time getting into the characters and the plot. It's about a 13 year old girl, just when she thinks she has a family her step dad, Cecil, leaves them. It starts off after he has left her and her mother, but she is certain that if she goes after him, he will return to them. So she lives as a runaway child and makes a friend with the family her Cecil is staying with. Ethan is the nephew of Cecil and finds Bird hiding out behind their farmhouse, he has been sick and just got a new heart and is healthier than he’s ever been, Bird becomes his first friend. As a reader you automatically sympathize with her, but if from another perspective we might find it strange that this young girl is spying on this family and using their shower and eating their food, while they attend church. After Bird leaves the farmhouse she meets a boy named Jay who is getting over the death of his brother. Each of the characters is young and trying to survive something more difficult than a child should bear. Each chapter is from a different character's perspective, but by the end of the book, each of the characters are tied together somehow. And Bird returns home, realizing that home with her mother is the only place she wants to be. Her nick name is Bird and I think that it is a perfect symbol of her. She leaves the nest to travel to make things better, but she finds that home is the only place she wants to be and so the bird returns to the nest. She found her wings and saw the world, but returned home. It’s great for young readers because so many young teens are dealing with issues beyond their years, and Bird teaches them that they can handle anything, there is always a place to turn to, finding your home is really, finding who loves you, and for some it’s where it always was, but it takes leaving it to see it.

Abby E

The book I chose to read this quarter is called Bird, by Angela Johnson. What I like about the main character, bird, is that she is so determined and brave to go on this adventure to find her stepfather. I also like that she is outgoing and friendly enough to meet some pretty great people along the way. There really isn’t anything I didn’t like about bird. If I had to pick one, it would be that she doesn’t tell anyone where she is going. I think that’s the worst thing you can do if you are going to leave.The plot all leads up to the point where she actually finds her stepfather, but she doesn’t do or say anything. Bird had gone a long way and gone through a lot on her way, but none of that matters when she finds him. She just wants to leave him be, because he is now important in someone else’s life. I was kept interested in this book because it was always fun to read. I loved the detail that the author put into her story to make it feel like I was there. What I learned from this book is that you shouldn’t always chase after what you think is right. Sometimes you have to let it go.This type of genre is young adult. I like reading this type of genre because it is easier to read for me. It makes me feel like I have a lot in common with the characters. I would definitely like to keep reading this genre and maybe even start a new type of book. What I don’t like about young adult books is that sometimes, I feel like i’m reading the same type of story over and over. If I were to rate this book, I would give it a 3 out of 5 stars. I think this book was good, but I wouldn’t say it’s my favorite.


This short novel tells the intertwining story of three children and a few adults, with the kids telling the story. Bird has run away to find her step-father, who has also run away. Ethan has recently had a heart transplant, and is getting used to being a ‘normal’ kid again. Jay is struggling with the loss of his brother, and has been getting into trouble lately. Their lives turn into a dance shortly after Bird ran away, Jay’s brother died and Ethan got his transplant. Ethan’s donor was Jay’s brother, and Bird is hiding in the shed in Ethan’s backyard, and eventually she discovers that her stepfather is Ethan’s uncle.This is a story that starts and ends abruptly. Readers will get to know each of the characters, including a few of the secondary ones. Bird is an engaging girl, though you rarely feel sorry for her. Ethan is a likable kid—the kind you’d like to have for a next door neighbor, now that he has a new heart. Jay is the rebel, but only because he’s friends with the wrong sort and is struggling with his brother’s death. Readers will find someone to identify with in this story. Overall it’s not bad, and would make a good book discussion book.

Jana Merrill

This was a very interesting book to read. I loved to see the three different stories, that at first seemed completely unrelated, come together and connect in someway. However, I did not like that the end stopped so abruptly. I wanted there to be some resolution, but it just ended. In someways it was nice that it ended where it ended because the readers can use their imagination and make up what hey thought happened. Also, as I was reading this book I kept on finding amazing lessons that I teach a class that was also reading the book. Ratings:Violence: 2- There are mentions of child being abused by adults, but nothing graphicLanguage: 2- There is the occasional swear word, but the worst one they say is the "d" word. Sex: 1- There is nothing bad at all the has to do with sex.Drugs and Alcohol: 1- There is nothing to do with drugs and alcohol in this book.

Sarah Kennington

I chose this book because it was a short audio I could listen to while cleaning and cooking. It sounded intriguing in class and everyone has like it so far, it seems. It was a cute story of a little girl who misses her step father and how she came to terms with that and was able to let go. The people she meets along the way are incredibly charitable and kindhearted as she learns what she really wants in life. The kindness was inspiring and hopefully I can be kind like these characters. Bird seems like such a normal girl and is sweet and thoughtful towards others also. The other narrators also have inspiring stories that were fun to have along with Bird's.This book would be great for 6-7 grade students. It is fairly clean, easy to read, and a cute story. For upper level readers, it's fairly simple, but it's definitely suitable for young readers.Warnings:Mild Language


Bird runs away from her home in Ohio to find her step-dad Cecil. She uses the pictures of his family to track them down and she hides in their shed to get to know them better. With the interweaving of narrators we find out that she isn't very well hidden. In Ethan's perspective he knows there is a runaway girl living in his shed and he longs to know her. When he does met her she helps him overcome his loneliness. The book was very well written with good images and believable characters. I like how I had a chance to be in three different characters heads, and how they were braided into the book. What I didn't like was the lack of plot. I understand it is supposed to be a heart-warming story about a girl named Bird who helps heal the pain of all who meet her and somehow she is healed herself. But I felt like the ending was abrupt and didn't wrap things up.


This is a beautifully written story about a young girl named Bird who is trying to bring back the stepfather that abandoned her and her mother. She's run away her home and finally found him but is waiting for the right time to talk to him. While she's deciding when to make her move, she meets several interesting people, including a young boy named Ethan, an older teen named Jay, and a retired schoolteacher named Mrs. Pritchard. She learns something from all of them and touches each one of them in a special way, too. The story is written in a simple, easy-to-understand way but the presentation is very interesting because the story is told from three different perspectives: Bird, Ethan, and Jay. As the story unfolds, you start to realize how interconnected all of these characters are even though they themselves don't actually realize it. I think this is a great book for kids grades four and above but I also think it's something adults would enjoy.


Summary: Bird is a fiction book by Angela Johnson about a devastated thirteen year old girl who ran away from her home in Cleveland, Ohio inspite of locating her stepfather. Bird escapes to Acorn, Alabama in pursuit of bringing her stepfather, Cecil, home. Cecil abandoned bird and her mother but she still wants to find him because she loves him dearly. Bird hides behind a family’s farmhouse in Alabama. Little did Bird know that she was going to form friendships that help her cope with her problems during this mission, because there, she meets a boy named Ethan and Jay. Ethan lives in the farmhouse. Ethan doesn’t tell his family about this runaway in his backyard because he is excited to have a friend. It turns out that Bird and Ethan have a lot of things in common. Then, on a trip to town, Bird meets a boy named Jay. Jay has just experienced a family death. Both Jay and Bird are sad and instantly become friends because they feel each others pain. Bird also met a lonely old lady named Mrs.Pritchard who lends her home to Bird. Mrs. Pritchard is eager for company since her husband is in a nursing home. Bird and Mrs. Pritchard form a heart-warming bond with each other. I will definatly read more books by Angela Johnson. This book has some comical scenes that made me LOL. She created a great mix of mood to keep you interested!Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book : “There’s one thing about people in Alabama that I’ve never seen before in anybody else. They’ll feed you if they think you’re hungry, guess you’re hungry, or if you aren’t hungry but they are “– Bird; Angela JohnsonShe rocks and says, “You don’t have to know everything in the world. We aren’t supposed to. It makes you boring in mixed company if you can’t be interested and ask questions of other people.” – Bird; Angela JohnsonUncle C.L.-“What up, dog?”Jay -“Nothing,” I say. Uncle C.L.- “Nothing, huh?”Jay -“Yep.”Uncle C.L.-“hmm. I swear nothing must be going on with millions of thirteen-year-old-boys. At least if you ask them, that’s what they’ll say.” – Bird; Angela Johnson

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