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


This was a very difficult book for me to rate. While it did keep my interest, it never actually became interesting. Yes, I know that doesn't make much sense. There are many books labeled as "coming of age". This is perhaps one of those. Or maybe it's more like a young teenaged girl finding her own identity and doing what she has to do to get it.Zinny (Zinnia) Taylor is a 13 year-old girl in a large family living on a farm in Kentucky. She has a "mess of brothers and sisters"- 7 kids altogether- that nobody in town can ever sort out. Sometimes Zinny wonders if she is really even there. Zinny rarely ever talks. Her only bright spot is that next door lives Aunt Jesse and Uncle Nate. Their daughter Rose died of whooping cough at age 4, caught from Zinny. Zinny has become sort of a pet of Aunt Jesse's. Then Aunt Jesse dies and Uncle Nate, who called her his "Redbird" because of her red hair, goes a bit crazy looking for her. A very saddened Zinny finds an old overgrown Indian/early pioneer trail, something like 24 miles long, and she decides that she has to clear it that summer- all by herself. While spending the summer clearing the trail she finds herself and solves a few family secrets and learns that she does matter.


This book was really well done in that the main topic is about grieving and losing people you love, but you almost don't even realize it all the time. And yet the whole book is about it. I was pretty amazed by that. There is a lot of sadness in this book, and the different characters all make varied choices in how to deal with that sadness. There is joy, too, and the finding of new reasons to keep on living. I enjoyed this book and think it is a great one for older children.Jake and Zinny definitely both needed to brush up on the laws about personal property though . . . :)"Sometimes I'd go to the cemetery by myself and drape flowers on Rose's headstone. I'd talk to Rose, telling her what had been happening, and asking her how she was doing. This was a major accomplishment for me, because I hardly ever spoke to live people. It wasn't that I was stupid (although a lot of my teachers thought so when I first entered their classes), or that I didn't like people. It was just that there didn't seem to be a lot to say that someone wasn't already saying. I liked listening.""'Mom, I'm Zinny.''I know,' she said. 'I can tell you all apart. It's just that my head is full of other things. If I were blindfolded and you walked in the room, I'd know it was you.''How?''Because I know who Zinny is. I know what she sounds like, smells like. I know what she—radiates. I know who she is.'I wanted to ask And who is that, but I didn't.""We were getting a little sappy, but sometimes a little sap in nice. I wouldn't want to drown in it, though."


"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.


If I could, I would give this book 2 1/2 starts. I'm not sure if I liked it or not. I didn't really like the characters. I found Zinny was selfish in many ways. I understand that she was dealing with grief, but the whole thing seemed really contrived. I didn't like Jake, and I wouldn't want my daughter to date him - ever. He is dishonest, but then again, so is Zinny. I didn't like that Zinny was friends with Sal. That part bugged me. I loved Walk Two Moons, and I didn't want Zinny interloping on Sal's story. I thought the parents were poorly written. I don't for a minute believe parents would let a young girl spend 10 days out in the woods by herself - especially since there were bobcats, foxes, bears, and drunk hunters lurking about. All of the characters has severe communication problems/issues. This family was in need of theraphy - desperately!There are parts of this book that are beautifully written. I cried when I read about the plastic roses. I felt bad for Zinny when she painted a rose on her shirt instead of a zinnia. I liked how Creech let us see Zinny's confusion about herself and Rose. I also liked that her father flew overhead while she was out on the trail. I liked that Uncle Nathan helped the turtle find a mate. This book is worth reading, but it isn't as good as I expect from Creech.


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.

Meghan Cobb

it's very sad in the first 14 pages


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

Ika Maniz

Ini mengisahkan tentang seorang gadis bernama Zinny Taylor yang tinggal di pinggiran kota kecil Bybanks bersama keluarga besarnya. Ia merasa terasingkan dalam keluarganya sendiri, ini dikarenakan dia memiliki 6 saudara, 3 adik laki - laki, seorang adik perempuan dan 2 kakak perempuan. Mereka adalah Will, Ben, Sam, Bonnie,May, Gretcheen. Namun May kakaknya yang menyebabkan dia tidak betah di rumah, karena May selalu mengatai Zinny aneh dan pelit. May terkenal sangat cantik. Banyak teman laki- laki Zinny pura-pura mendekati Zinny untuk meluruskan tujuan mereka mendekati May. Jadi Zinny tidak senang dengan keadaan ini, ia merasa bagaikan babi di balapan anjing. Hingga Zinny selalu merasa lebih betah tinggal dengan bibi Jessie dan paman Nate yang kebetulan tinggal disamping rumahnya. Sebenarnya pamanNate adalah sosok yang agak arogan namun kadang - kadng lucu. Ini terlihat saat ia memanggil keponakannya dengan " Cebong-Cebong" dan perempuan "Labu", serta panggilan "Burung Merah" kepada bibi Jessie karena bibi Jessie sangat cantik dan rambutnya agak kemerah - merahan. Apabila dia mengumpat selalu mengatakan "kutu kupret".Paman dan bibinya sebenarnya mempunyai anak perempuan seumuran Zinny bernama Rose,namun ia telah meninggal saat usia 4 tahun karena batuk rejan. Hingga pada suatu hari ia menemukan peta tua yang menghubungkan jalur Bybanks - Chocton saat rekreasi kelasnya ke museum. Hingga Zinny memutuskan untuk memecahkan misteri peta tua tersebut. Saat ia mulai membersihkan jalur rahasia peta tua, bibi Jessie meninggal setelah melihat medali dan ular kecil yang di tangkap oleh Zinny. Maka ia harus melanjutkan misteri ini sampai tuntas karena ia merasa bahwa ia-lah penyebab kematian bibi Jessie, padahal di akhir cerita di sebutkan kalu penyebabnya bibi Jessie lupa mnyuntikkan insulin kedalam tubuhnya. Tapi Zinny tetap merasa bersalah karena dia jugalah penyebab kematian Rose, karena batuk rejan ditularkan oleh Zinny. Zinny meminta izin untuk berkemah di jalan setapak rahasia tersebut dalam 10 hari. Saat Zinny sudah menyelesaikan setengah jalur ia menemukan sebuah gubuk yang tak berpenghuni, saat ia mengintip ia sangat terkejut, disitu terdapat jas dan parfum bibi Jessie dan barang - barang Rose kecil. Ia memutuskan untuk pulang ke rumah untuk memberi tahu paman Nate yang sedang sakit. Namundiperjalanan pulangnya ia bertemu dengan Jake Boone yang sungguh mencintainya. Dan pada hari - hari kedepannya ia sudah berhasil menuntaskan jalur rahasia tersebut dan dari Pemerintah Bybanks telah meresmikan jalur Bybanks - Chocton. Saat itu Zinny Taylor menjadi sangat terkenal.Novel ini bercerita tentang keluarga dan sedikit kisah remaja yang tak terlalu vulgar, jadi ini sangat bagus sebagai bacaan segala umur. Alurnya juga sangat mudah untuk diikuti. Penerjemah novel ini sangat cerdas sekali dalam mengalih bahasakan. Namun pada akhir cerita tidak di sebutkan bagaimana akhir kisah Jake Boone -Zinny Taylor. Jadi selamat membaca!!!


PRESENTATIONThirteen year-old Zinnia "Zinny" Taylor is quiet and somewhat forgotten among the other kids in her big family. To escape the chaos, she spends most of her time at her Aunt Jessie and Uncle Nate's house. Though they live adjacent to her own on the family farm in Kentucky, Zinny feels worlds apart from her own family here and finds in Jessie a second mother. Aunt Jessie and Uncle Nate once had a daughter Zinny's age who died of whooping cough she caught from Zinny, and so Zinny tries also to take Rose's place, though Zinny sometimes finds distress in this comparison. When Aunt Jessie dies suddenly, Zinny's world is turned upside down, and the story begins. Zinny spends a lot of her time outside and one day discovers a trail that Zinny knows will connect her to her Aunt Jessie. With the (sometimes unwanted) help of her past friend Jake Boone, Zinny sets out on a journey to uncover the trail, uncover the mysteries of her aunt's past, and uncover herself. Creech's novel is beautiful. Her exploration of death, life, and identity is insightful and sweet, and her voice of thirteen year-old Zinny is magnetic. I loved it when I was younger and I still loved it today, so that's saying something. I would recommend this book to older middle-grade readers and above.


I really enjoyed this book because of the way Sharon Creech created the characters and how well each chapter fit into the other. I especially liked how she created Zinny's Uncle Nate because at first he seemed like a normal person that wasn't very important and then once her Aunt Jessie died he changed. Uncle Nate made the lesson come through that when someone dies you have to get over it, you can't just sit around and cry. He made this lesson come through by pretending to have her there and this teaches people to adapt to things that have to happen in life. I also like how Sharon Creech created Zinny's brother Ben. I liked it because he seemed like one of Zinny's favorite of all her siblings. He also seemed important because Ben was the one that saw her Aunt Jessie after she died so he was the one she could relate to and talk to about it. The other part of this book I enjoyed was the way each chapter related to the one before it. For example, one of the chapters was called Bingo and then the next was called Gobbler. These two chapters relate to each other because Bingo was the name of a stolen dog and in the next chapter Zinny finds out that the real name of the dog is Gobbler. I liked that the book was like this because the title of the chapter gave you a hint of what the chapter may be about. So, overall I really enjoyed this book because of the way Sharon Creech wrote it.


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.

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.


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


I thought this book was just ok. I wouldn't say that it was a bad book---I just wouldn't recommend it as a "good read". I do like how she writes....if you want to read a really good book by this author read "Walk Two Moons"!! I loved that!!


SUMMARY: 13 year old Zinny Taylor has nothing to call her own. She soon finds a trail in which she uncovers.PASSAGE: From far below came the mournful train whistle, and I instictively turned in the direction of the farm, thinking of the ash tree and the cardinals and Aunt Jessie and Uncle Nate. My family would be clattering around the dinner table, and I wondereed if anyone would notice I was gone. Out flew another scene: my parents getting up early that morning to see me off. And another: Sam slurping his soup. And more: Ben in his garden, Gretchen hunched over her computer. STOP! I pleadeed with my brain. STOP IT! p.153 paragraph 3-4-I chose this passage, because this is the passage where Zinny really sees that she could not imagine life without her family. Zinny thought that she just needed to get out of that house with so many kids in it. She thought her parents didn't have enough time to talk to her alone and that she was used by boys for her older sister. She realizes know though that her family is very important to her and that she does care about them even though nothing seems to ever just be hers. I think this was a big scene for Zinny and it was my favorite part as well because family is what is important and we will always have our family no matter what and that related to me!!

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