Chasing Redbird

ISBN: 0330397826
ISBN 13: 9780330397827
By: Sharon Creech

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About this book

After her aunt's death, quiet Zinny Taylor hardly speaks at all. When she discovers the start of an ancient pioneer trail on the family farm, Zinny begins an obsessive journey that leads her towards the secrets of her childhood.

Reader's Thoughts

Elizabeth Crook

My sister turned me on to this book because her daughter loved it so much. I read it with my daughter when she was in second grade. It is powerful and beautifully strange, both realistic and magical at the same time. Sharon Creech is a fearless writer who doesn't shy away from the hard truths about loss and old age and the perpetual mystery of death, and yet avoids the sinister: her books are a celebration of kindness and discovery. After reading Chasing Redbird we read her others and found them all equally poignant and captivating. But it was this one that my daughter chose to read again, three years later, twice, on her own.


Chasing Redbird is written by Sharon Creech, and is about thirteen-year old Zinny Taylor who lives in Kansas on her families farm. She grows up with her two older brothers and her Aunt "Redbird" and Uncle Nate. She grows up becoming best friends with her cousin Rose all her childhood until she suddenly dies, of whooping cough at a young age. Zinny spends almost every second she can trying to find a way to get away from her family and the seldom privacy of her small rural town, where everybody knows everybody. When her aunt dies and everything seems like it is falling apart, she takes on a load of guilt thinking that she was the reason for Rose's death and also the reason for her aunt's death. She finds a small trail in the near by woods on her family farm. When she just wants to be alone she finds that camping in the woods is one of the best places to be. As she makes a small place of her own in the woods she figures out many life problems and how to handle them. As her uncle Nate is having delusions about his dead wife, Zinny tries as hard as she can to help him make it through the pain. As she tries to find faith and love in just her simple place in the woods and simple family, she learns that sometimes it is not easy to find your place or reason in life but it all will work out if you just believe in yourself.


This book (in my oppinion) states the importance of the trail to Zinny(the main character). Zinny is a 13 yearold girl that just discovered an old abandond trail in the midst of her back yard.Suddenly sparked with curiosty,Zinny had to figure out where the trail led too.While living in a large family Zinny unusually has anything to call her own, so the trail was the one thing she was determined to keep to herself. In this novel she learns how to take on the wieght of life while experiencing some horrible things that occured through out this book.This novel demenstrates that anybody can have courage no matter how young you are,by showing how Zinny never gave up on discovering the trail even when times got tough.(btw) my reviews are short


Eh. Just struck me as a really dysfunctional group of people and a family that doesn't have enough time for itself. There's no real resolve to anything, and the end feels like Zinnia's just getting herself entangled with a boy who's trouble. Not too impressed with this one.


This book was so much fun to read. It's about a girl named Zinny who feels left alone. She also feels that it's her fault that her little cousin Rose died at the agr of four. Rose an d Zinny wer eborn on the same month and they grew up together. But then Zinny ended up getting sick and Rose ended up getting sick to but worse so Rose ended up dying and Zinny feels that is she would of never gotten sick Rose wouldn't of ended up dying. Then after that her aunt Jessie died and Zinny thinks that that was her fault too. After all of that her Uncle Nate started to say he saw his redbird which was aunt Jessie runnin through the woods. Everybody thought he was going crazy and enede up going crazy. He even sometimes called Zinny Rose saying that Zinny was his little Rosie. Zinny also feel alone because her parents had like about 10 kids all together and they kept on gettin her name moxed up and sometimes even ignored her and she really liked this boy named Jake and he brought her lots of presents. Zinny thought that Jake gave her all these presents just to get to her siuster may which was what most guys did but it was that he actually liked her. She ende up finding a trail and she was going to spend her whole summer uncovering her trail and camping out in the woods to have time to finish. She ended finding out that the trail she was uncovering connected Bybanks and chocton. She finally felt like she can call a palce her own. After he r accomplishment of her uncovering the trail her parents started paying more attention to her. Jake and her where happy together, a lot of people started using her trail and she found a caben in the woods that had a lot of pictures of her and baby Rose and aunt Jessie.


I loved this book. It's a great book that makes you laugh. If you haven't read this before, you must read it!

Grace Steele

Chasing Redbird by Sharon Creech tells the story of 13-year-old Zinnia “Zinny” Taylor whose life thus far has been defined by her last name and how she fits in with her large and chaotic family. One of seven children, Zinny is in a constant struggle to assert herself as an individual. Throughout the years, Zinny has discovered an escape from the frenzy of her own household in the “quiet zone” of her Aunt Jessie and Uncle Nate’s house. She becomes close with them and their daughter Rose as a young girl but when Rose passes away after catching whooping cough from Zinny, she can do nothing but blame herself for the loss. When this story begins, Aunt Jessie has recently and very unexpectedly passed, leaving the whole family, though more specifically Uncle Nate and Zinny, devastated and lost. When Zinny discovers an overgrown trail running through the woods near her family’s house, she begins a summer project that leads her to a self-discovery and an acceptance of the past which cannot be changed. Though at the start of the novel Zinny is considered “the quiet one” of the family, by the end of her “journey” through clearing the path, she is fully capable of asserting herself as an individual and it is clear that she now has a sense of self-worth. Through the many made-up identities Zinny assigns herself to throughout the novel, it is clear that her journey of self-discovery is not complete until she is able to see herself for who she truly is: an explorer, a caring daughter, friend and niece, and most importantly an individual. Though this novel contains a small aspect of romance with the character of Jake Boone, it does not over-cloud Creech’s emphasis on self-acceptance and discovery but instead acts as another feature to help Zinny realize her self-worth. Overall, this novel is very empowering for adolescent girls who might feel like they are lost in their own world. Relating to the themes expressed throughout Walk Two Moons and many of Creech’s other novels, Chasing Redbird offers an inspiring yet relatable story which deals with the hardship of loss as well as the complexities of discovering one’s identity.

Meghan Cobb

it's very sad in the first 14 pages

Emily Bardin

Zinnia Taylor often feels lost in the middle of her large family. When she finds an historic path that stretches from her family farm to a neighboring town. She unearths the path in her attempts to escape the craziness of her family, her guilt about her aunt's and cousin's deaths, and the incredibly annoying Jake Boone.Chasing Redbird is one of my favorite books. I enjoy the quirkiness of Creech's writing in this book that adds humor to such heavy matters. It's definitely a heart-warming book.


Questo libro ha qualcosa di magico. Tutti i libri di Sharon Creech, in realtà, hanno qualcosa di magico. Qualcosa di profondamente riflessivo sotto il tono leggero e scorrevole (l'ho letto in tipo tre ore! esattamente quello che mi serviva dopo essermi trascinata The dark is Rising per settimane XD), qualcosa di inaspettato eppure totalmente credibile. I suoi personaggi non sono mai piatti, sono sempre bidimensionali nelle loro luci e ombre, e soprattutto sono assolutamente umani. Tipo, persone. Persone che fanno cose sbagliate per il motivo giusto, persone che fanno cose stupide per il motivo sbagliato, persone che fanno cose che nemmeno loro lo sanno, perchè le hanno fatte. Questo in particolare, con la piccola Zinny che parte e se ne va da sola nei boschi per finire di scoprire (nel senso di: ripulire dalle erbacce. ma anche: capire dove porta) il suo sentiero, che ha trovato per caso nel bosco dietro casa, è stato particolarmente azzeccato, dato il mio recente costante pensiero di prendere e andare da qualche parte, di nuovo (mi mancamancamanca la scozia; ma soprattutto mi mancamancamanca il viaggiare in se)


"Sometimes it seems too crowded on our side, and you don’t know who you are. You feel like everybody’s spaghetti is all tangled in one pot… I discovered an old trail, overgrown with grass and weeds. I knew instantly that it was mine and mine alone. What I didn’t know was how long or how hard it would be to uncover the whole thing, or that it would turn into such an obsession…the trail was just like the spaghetti of me and my family…it took a heap of doing to untangle it.""Sometimes, one grasshopper or one fossil or one maple would be mesmerizing. You could look at any one of these for days and weeks and months, and you'd see something different each time. Maybe it was the same with people: if you studied them, you'd see new and different things. But would you like what you saw? Did it depend on who was doingthe looking?"I suddenly felt very small and alone, as if no one understood what I was doing or why it was important to me, and I was not able to explain it to them because I ddin't know why it was so important to me.

Taya Mills

This book is about Zinnia Taylor, a young girl in a large family who is trying to find her place in the world. When she comes upon an old trail while exploring, she devotes her summer to clearing the entire thing. Throughout her journeys on the trail, she learns about family secrets and parts of her past that she never knew about. As she learns about nature, love, and death, Zinnia finds her place in the world and grows on a deeper level. I really liked this book because it contains three elements that I love: outdoors and nature, being the oddball in the family, and dealing with mysteries from the past. The main character, Zinnia is very relatable to me, or how I used to be, so I enjoy reading about her thoughts and experiences. I like that there’s a bit of mystery involved in the book and that aspect keeps the pages turning and keeps me intrigued. I think that many young adults would enjoy this book, particularly girls who may have tomboy characteristics, like myself.


Another utterly unique and wonderful book by this author. Zinnie Taylor is a girl who wonders if her life will ever be simple. Her beloved and spirited aunt, nicknamed Redbird, has passed away, leaving her family subdued. She lives among her five other siblings, always lumped together as “one of those Taylors”. She wants more than anything to be unique, to find something she can call her own. She never expected that something to be in her own backyard.One day, Zinnie unearths a single stepping stone by the creek in her yard, and it doesn’t take her long to realize that this is just the beginning of a trail; a trail covered by the undergrowth of years. And so Zinnie begins to clear the path with a zealous determination, and in doing so, begins to answer the questions of her own life.What really happened to the baby cousin who was like a sister to her and died when she was small? How can she prove her uniqueness to her parents and siblings? What is she going to do about Jake, who brings her presents and confuses her more than anyone? And will she ever finish the immense task she has set herself, to clear the trail and untangle the mysteries of growing up? Another quirky tale from Sharon Creech about the pains, triumphs, and realizations of love, loss, youth, and family.

Salim Ajarrag

Sharon Creech's novel, Chasing Redbird I can easily say may be one of my favorite books that I have ever read. Creech's purpose in writing Chasing Redbird is to create two main themes. This first theme is that everyone grieves in their own way. The second theme is that amongst the tragedies and chaos in life, it is inevitable that one should experience self-discovery and growth. The impact that this book had on me was tremendous, so I can only assume that a wider audience would, too, enjoy reading this if they are looking for something dramatic, emotional, and most importantly relatable. Because anyone can relate to this book in one way or another, Chasing Redbird WILL have lasting value. Chasing Redbird is very captivating. I read this book so quickly and easily, not because of its length, but because of how good it was. I did not relate to one character alone, but to many different qualities of a couple of the characters. The main character, Zinny, felt a sense of responsibility and leadership towards her family in the very same way that I feel. She, like me, is curious and longs for self-liberation, for example when she asks her Uncle Nate, "What exactly did people do when they had all the time in the world and could do whatever they liked?" (Creech 153). Zinny's uncle Nate's sense of hope and belief that anything is possible also reminded me of myself and the mindset I try to have in life. Chasing Redbird was mostly serious in that it covered the topics of death, insanity, and insecurity, but it still managed to skip over being depressing and get straight to the thought-provoking art that it truly is. This book was very well written. Creech did a great job writing in style of each character's personalities as well as kept it easy to understand and get in to. The greatest strength of Chasing Redbird would be the storyline. Throughout reading this book, the reader is overcome with suspense leading up to the end. The fact that the end is so unclear until literally the last few chapters is amazing. The storyline consists of a variety of characters, a sad, yet inspirational tale, and an ending that is hard to see coming. The book's weakness is hard to say. Although I really liked Creech's input of flashbacks and thought they did a great job revealing how life was before Aunt Jesse and Baby Rose's deaths, they did get a little confusing sometimes. The flashbacks made it hard to tell whether the story was in the present or past at that moment. Most of the flashbacks were even "revived" when Uncle Nate saw hallucinations of his wife and daughter, claiming that they were still alive. For example, Uncle Nate claims he sees Aunt Jesse on the trail, saying, "There's my Redbird. She's still with us" (Creech 122). Determining the difference between whether it was an actual flashback or Uncle Nate's sanity could be difficult for some readers. I would certainly recommend Chasing Redbird to a friend. The feeling I got after I finished reading was beyond compare. The trail in the woods that Zinny literally travels down throughout the story is also a figurative trail, symbolic of the "trails" we take in life and the decisions that we are forced to make at each turn. I found myself relating to every page I read and discovering symbolic themes, like the trail in every chapter. The topic of self-discovery and identity in a tragic world is what truly makes this book a classic. Zinny keeps herself busy in regards to dealing with her tragedies, saying "These were trivial things my find focused on, and I knew it, but they kept me from thinking about the bigger things that were lurking behind this clutter. I felt that if I didn’t keep busy, a million, million scenes were going to burst out of my head all at once. Part of me was curious to see what was in there, but I wanted to see them slowly, one at a time" (Creech 245). Chasing Redbird not only lets readers into a world closely familiar to many of our worlds, but also teaches us and makes us really think.

Bailey Kapitzke

This book was a good book. It was one of my favorite childhood books, but I was suprised at how different I remembered the plot. Sharon Creech does an awesome job describing the exact thought of each character as well as the relationships between characters. The main character, Zinny, is a little younger than myself so I thought it got a little slow at times. I especially liked the ending because more action happened with Zinny and her secret trail. I recommend this book to younger adults or anyone who wants a fun and easy read.

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