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Author: Spinelli, Eileen
Still grieving for her father, twelve-year-old Birdie struggles to adjust to many changes, including when her grandmother, her mother, and her best friends all begin dating.
Kirkus Reviews (02/01/19)
School Library Journal (05/01/19)
Booklist (+) (02/15/19)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/03/19)
The Hornbook (00/05/19)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 02/15/2019 *Starred Review* Three years ago, after Birdie’s father died, she and her mother moved to her great-grandmother Maymee’s small town and into her home. Twelve-year-old Birdie still mourns for her father, but change is in the air. Previously preoccupied with planning her funeral, Maymee loses her heart to a man visiting relatives nearby. To Birdie’s dismay, Mom starts dating, too. And even Birdie secretly longs for her best friend, Martin, to become her boyfriend, though he has a crush on another girl. For a while, every change seems wrong to Birdie, but gradually she gains perspective on the shifts within her circle of family and friends, sorting out the temporary, awkward, or painful changes from those that feel right as time passes. Birdie’s fascination with birds is as integral to the storytelling as references to her father. Written with a light hand and from Birdie's point of view, this accessible, sometimes amusing narrative comes alive through its portrayal of characters. Spinelli sorts out the three love stories deftly, from Maymee, who knows she has no time to waste, to Mom, who’s willing to take another chance, to Birdie, who’s relieved when her agonizing emotional fever subsides, but who ultimately sees her future differently afterwards. An engaging, perceptive novel in verse. - Copyright 2019 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 05/01/2019 Gr 5–7—In this novel in verse, 12-year-old Roberta Briggs, called Birdie because of her love and knowledge of birds, is living with her mother and grandmother in a small Pennsylvania town, having moved there from Philadelphia three years before, following the line-of-duty death of her firefighter father. The pain of her loss has somewhat abated, and life is good, but things are changing: her best friend and Sunday Scrabble partner Martin is spending more and more time with a new girl in town, Nina; her grandmother has given up planning her own funeral in favor of a romantic relationship; and her mother's late arrivals home from work reveal a love interest Birdie is not ready to accept. She grapples with jealousy and resentment, but as new people enter her life, she comes to learn that love heals and that change can sometimes happen for the better. Humorous and poignant, Spinelli's lyrical writing, spot-on sense of small town life, and light touch make this a comforting and enjoyable read in an accessible format. VERDICT Exactly the kind of mild-conflict story parents seek for their preadolescents.—Marie Orlando, formerly at Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY - Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.