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Eileen Spinelli
Ages 10 to14
HARDCOVER; Published: 4/9/2019
ISBN: 978-0-8028-5513-8
Price: $ 16.00
208 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 5.5 x 8.25
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A relatable novel-in-verse about loss… and what happens afterwards

Twelve-year-old Birdie Briggs loves birds. They bring her comfort when she thinks about her dad, a firefighter who was killed in the line of duty. Life without her dad isn’t easy, but at least Birdie still has Mom and Maymee, and her friends Nina and Martin.

But then Maymee gets a boyfriend, Nina and Martin start dating, and Birdie’s mom starts seeing a police officer. And suddenly not even her beloved birds can lift Birdie’s spirits. Her world is changing, and Birdie wishes things would go back to how they were before. But maybe change, painful as it is, can be beautiful too.

With compelling verse and a lighthearted touch, Eileen Spinelli captures the poignancy of adolescence and shows what can happen when you let people in.


The Delaware Literacy Association Delaware Diamonds Grades 3-5 Titles Nominee (2020-2021)

 Alabama Department of Education Camellia Children’s Choice Book Award Nominee (2019-2020)

Keystone State Literacy Association Keystone to Reading Elementary Book Award Nominee (2020-2021)

Oklahoma Library Association Sequoyah Award Nominee (2021)

Children's Literature Association of Utah Beehive Book Award Nominee (2021)


Kirkus Reviews

"Birdie's free-verse narration is thoughtful and unhurried, and although it's interior, it shows without telling. . . . A gentle look at daily beauty and at heartache that's not caused by anyone doing anything wrong." 

Booklist (Starred Review)
"This accessible, sometimes amusing narrative comes alive through its portrayal of characters. . . . An engaging, perceptive novel in verse."
Publishers Weekly
"While unveiling her own frustrations and fears, Birdie’s earnest narrative presents convincing portraits of these and additional sympathetic characters to shape a meaningful tale about intergenerational bonds, true friendship, and the need to embrace change."
School Library Journal
“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. . . . Exactly the kind of mild-conflict story parents seek for their preadolescents.”
Horn Book Magazine
“This is classic middle grade, all the better for its old-fashioned flavor.”