Despite being for 9-12 age group, Bird is a complex, blunt, aching description of a family trying to hold together after the death of a child.
John, or Bird, dies long before the novel begins but is so tangible and present in the lives of Jewel and her family.
Jewel and her new friend (also named John) are amazingly rich characters, sharing their passions for geology and space with each other, forming a very believable passionate friendship.
Crystal Chan also touches on feelings of being outside, through great explanations of why “where are you from, no where are you really from” is invasive, and how balancing your family’s culture in a different country is difficult.
Rich with Jamaican history and a great insight into a complicated family, dealing with the death of a child. Her growing relationship with her grandfather, leading to understanding of her family dynamics and history, is touching and reminiscent of The Hour of the Bees.
Bird is a really great book that deserves all the praise it has been getting, and for me should be getting much more than that. Get out and read!
Interested? Get it here.
What to read next:
- The Hour of the Bees by Lindsay Eager
- Maybe a Fox by Katherine Appelt and Alison McGhee
- Girl of Ink and Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave