Little Bird

Little Bird by Cynthia Voigt

Celebrated Newbery Medalist Cynthia Voigt introduces Little Bird, a tiny crow with a big imagination and an even bigger heart, in this timeless read-alone and read-aloud just right for the young middle grade audience.  The author's gentle humor, sense of fun, and adventure, and open-minded main character sing off the page in this timely and thematically rewarding short novel, which is illustrated by Newbery Medalist Lynne Rae Perkins.

What does it mean to be a friend?  Who decides who gets to belong? Why does laughter make us feel better?  What does it mean to have a choice?  Where is home?  Why does the truth matter?

336 pages                                        978-0062996893                        Ages 8-12

Keywords:  bird, crow, journey, understanding others, growing up, truth, finding yourself, animals, courage, risk, choices, believing in yourself, adventure, friends, friendship, animal rescue, 8 year old, 9 year old, 10 year old, 11 year old, 12 year old, self image, belonging, self reliance

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What do you do when you're the smallest crow?  What do you think your life can be when you're told you don't matter?

Little Bird is a crow - a small crow- whose job it is to protect the fledglings in the nest.  Every crow has a role in the roost.  Some forage and some defend and some like to tell others what to do.  Little Bird fits into this crow world.  She knows her job and she does what she is supposed to do- sometimes she does it well and sometimes she doesn't and this time when the fisher came hunting young crows, Little Bird failed and a fledgling was lost.   Turns out even more was lost in the attack on the nest - something so important to the crows was taken.  It had been woven deeply into the twigs of the nest and  that something was called "Our Luck."

The crows need their luck.  They believe it keeps them safe. Now, one of the crows is going to have to go and hunt for "Our Luck" and that crow is Little Bird. All the other crows have big jobs and they can't be spared.  Little Bird can be sent out on her own and won't be missed.  She doesn't matter quite as much as the others.

The world that Little Bird knows is a small world and it's a world that's run according to the rules crows have followed forever.  For now Little Bird thinks that's all there is to life and being a crow.  She accepts her place in that world.  She is small and has a small life.  Other crows are big and have bigger jobs.  But as Little Bird sets out, she makes some discoveries about what the world can be.

Little Bird by Cynthia Voigt is the journey of a small, unimportant bird sent out in search of "Our Luck."   Her adventures will become a school of life for her as she pushes a bit farther and farther away from the trees she knows, the nest she guards,  the crows she believes and most of all the image she has of herself and what her life could possibly hold for her.

If you're going to fly into the forest, you have to be ready to meet all kinds of animals, the truthful and kind ones and those other animals who enjoy cruelty and are not true to their word.  If you're going to believe that you can be successful, that you have what it takes,  you have to be willing to open your mind to possibilities you never imagined.

For Little Bird those possibilities will be the wonder of the huge natural world around her, the freedom that is waiting for her through the power of her wings, and the wisdom she will discover as she chooses to fly beyond the safety of what she knows and what she's been told.

A heartfelt gem, Little Bird will be a lighthouse for children who sense the highs and lows, the truth and the lies, the trust and the deceit that they see with their own eyes and their own hearts as they try new things, meet new people and decide for themselves what to believe and what to risk.  This story is a map that puts life's pathways down on paper for a child to see and understand and the beauty of the integrity, the courage and the honesty of Little Bird will keep them company for years and years to come.

Recommended by:  Barb Langridge, abookandahug.com

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