Book Review: Bird by Crystal Chan

About the Book

Title: Bird

Author: Crystal Chan

Source: Library

Publication Date: January 28th 2014 by Anthenum

Pages: 304

Blurb: Entrenched secrets, mysterious spirits, and an astonishing friendship weave together in this extraordinary and haunting debut.

Nothing matters. Only Bird matters. And he flew away.

Jewel never knew her brother Bird, but all her life she has lived in his shadow. Her parents blame Grandpa for the tragedy of their family’s past; they say that Grandpa attracted a malevolent spirit—a duppy—into their home. Grandpa hasn’t spoken a word since. Now Jewel is twelve, and she lives in a house full of secrets and impenetrable silence.

Jewel is sure that no one will ever love her like they loved Bird, until the night that she meets a mysterious boy in a tree. Grandpa is convinced that the boy is a duppy, but Jewel knows that he is something more. And that maybe—just maybe—the time has come to break through the stagnant silence of the past.


I loved a lot of things about this book.

One thing that I loved about this book was the strong friendship between the main characters, Jewel and John. Both Jewel and John are diverse characters. While Jewel is a mixed race, half Caucasian, half Jamaican girl, John is an adopted boy from Africa living in a Caucasian family. Since they are both out of place in the town that they live in, they can relate to each others’ struggles. Additionally, both Jewel and John love nature and they each have their own special natural place to which they go. While they are both very similar, they don’t always get along with each other, which makes their friendship very realistic.

 I also loved the message that this book sent. Much of the book was about forgiveness. For example, Jewel’s family must forgive her Grandpa for inadvertently killing Bird. Additionally, Jewel must learn to forgive her parents for neglecting her. Finally, Jewel and John must both learn to forgive each other and renew their friendship when they argue with each other.

The writing style in this book was lyrical and beautiful. I especially enjoyed the effective use of rich metaphors that helped me to better visualize everything that was happening in the story. The metaphors in the story also fit in with the eminent nature aspect of the story because most of them had to do with nature. This added special significance to the figurative language used, and also made the story more interesting.

In conclusion, this was a beautiful story about friendship and forgiveness, and I would recommend it to any young teen reader with a love for nature.

Update: Oops! I was kind of rushed so I forgot to include my rating. Sorry everyone! Five out of five butterflies.

butterfly rating

Have you read Bird? How did you like it? Have you read any other good books with diverse characters?




8 thoughts on “Book Review: Bird by Crystal Chan

  1. I really liked this one too Ana! 😀 I completely agree that the characters were absolutely wonderful and relatable and that the writing was exquisite! (It kind of reminded me of a bit more juvenile version of Jodi Lynn Anderson’s writing, which is saying a lot – ha!). And the friendship aspect and the family dynamics were so wonderful! It’s not often that books have those kinds of focuses, but I am so glad Bird did because they are such important things. Thanks for sharing Ana, and, as always, BRILLIANT review! ❤


    1. I’ve never read any books by Jodi Lynn Anderson, but if her writing is similar to Crystal Chan’s, then I’d love to check out some of her books. I’m really glad that Bird focused on friendship and family as well because I agree that most books don’t really focus on those relationships.


  2. I LOVED THIS ONE! I just…I had a feeling I would adore it and I absolutely totally did. I couldn’t even handle all the sweet sadness. Seriously it was nearly bawling worthy. I was so angry at John for a while. And I loved Jewel. But ughhh her parents. Basically I had a lot of emotion while reading this. 😉


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