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

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.

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


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.


I honestly chose to read this book because it was small and looked short. And it was really short, but I ended up really liking it. The different perspectives of the three different characters was eye opening. It showed how people can view the same situation differently but how it can still share the same significance in each individuals life. This is a book I think I could hand to anyone. But I think I would recommend it more to people struggling with family or self discovery issues. This book covers these subjects so well that I think it could talk to many different teens struggling with so many different issues in their life. Warnings:NO sex, drugs, violence, or language.

Anna Knox

I don't really know how to feel about this book. Maybe it was because the main character was just so young. Bird is only thirteen years old. She is more of a child then anything else, and the thought of her living on her own just makes me uncomfortable. I just want to tell her to go home. The plight of her step father leaving and her chasing after him is heart wrenching, but I think it distracts from the story I wanted to hear: Jay and Ethan. While Bird's story was just uncomfortable to me, I wanted to know more about how Jay was dealing with his brother's death, and how Ethan could help Jay heal. Bird's narrative distracted from that storyline, and while her narrative was resolved, I didn't get that resolution from Ethan and Jay, at least not the way I wanted. Also, I hate switching perspective stories, they make it harder for me to connect to the characters. Very rarely have I seen it pulled off well, and this was not one of those situations. sex- nonedrugs- noneviolence- nonelanguage- none that I can remember


A very slight book, beautifully written from three points of view. Bird is a young girl devastated by the loss of two fathers. Jay is reeling from his brother's death, while Evan has been given a new lease on life since he received a new heart ... which came from Jay's brother. What could have been a heavy-handed melodrama is, in Angela Johnson's hands, a lyrical exploration of a wide range of emotions. It ends in hopefulness, in part because of the childrens' own resilient spirits, and in part because the children all have at least some adults in their lives who support them.


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.


This book was pretty good, i liked my last book better though. This book is about a girl named bird running away from her mom to find her step dad cecil. My favorite part would have to be when she decides to go back home. There are two other major characters you should know about Ethan and Jay they are also important. I recommend this book to middle schoolers mostly because it was very easy to read.


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


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.

Marli Manning

This was my first read by Angela Johnson, and I found it really engaging. I read the whole thing in about an hour. Not the most complex story line, and it left some detail to be desired, but that is to be expected in a shorter work. Overall I really enjoyed it.Bird is young runaway, hiding out in a barn miles away from home in search of her stepfather. Ethan is a young man with a new heart. Jay is struggling to cope with the death of his father. This book follows each of these lives and and how they intersect, weaving an entertaining tale of family, friendship, and independence.Language: Mild profanitiesViolence: NoneSexual Content: NoneDrugs and Alcohol: None

Amanda Peterson

This was a nice little book to read. Not too short, but not too long. I believe that Angela Johnson produced a great book within a short page count. One thing I liked about this book, was the fact that it had several different stories going on at the same time-at sometimes it got confusing differentiating the stories from one another. I think this book would be a great book for readers who cannot read very well, but can still be relate-able. Spoiler Alert: I was pretty disappointed with how the book ended, because I wanted her to go and and at least talk to Cecil, but she never did, so that is why I gave this book three stars instead of four (if I could I would give it 2.5 stars). all in all it was an okay book to read. Warnings:Jail: Googy does go to jail, and Jay is under house arrest.Car Hijacking: Googy and Jay do steal a car for a joy ride.Run-a-way: Bird does run away and ends us living in a shed.

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.


The story follows 3 different kids-Bird is an exciting girl trying to find her dad to bring him home after he deserted the family for another family. Ethan is the perfect "best friend" sort of a guy. He has a new heart from a boy who died and he faces those challenges. Lastly, Jay is the rebel, but only because he’s friends with the trouble makers and is struggling with his brother’s death. Readers will find someway to relate to at least one character in the book. I thought the book was alright. I rated it a 2 stars because i felt like..."okay..suck it up." But that's probably because i've been through some of the stuff the kids have been through. I felt like the story dragged on needlessly and although it was cute it was just boring. and i got sick of the description that the houses smelled "lemony" ...did anyone notice that? Gee- get a little more creative. I sound super harsh- but in reality it was alright. Language- TINY bit. violence- nosex- nodrugs/alcohol- nope

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