About the Book
Author: Crystal Chan
Publication Date: January 28th 2014 by Anthenum
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.
Have you read Bird? How did you like it? Have you read any other good books with diverse characters?