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Bird 2

by Crystal Chan and Crystal Chan
Publication Date: 29/01/2014
4/5 Rating 2 Reviews
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.
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 the time has come to break through the stagnant silence of the past.
Entrenched secrets, mysterious spirits, and an astonishing friendship weave together in this extraordinary and haunting debut.
Family & home stories (Children's / Teenage)
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  • A soaring debut.

    by on

    Jewel is born on the day her brother Bird dies. She is born into a family filled with silence, (her grandpa doesnt speak at all) her home is filled with a constant grief and is full of secrets. Her only solace is the cliff where her brother died, which is forbidden. Nearing her 12th birthday she meets John, they become best of friends. Jewel finally feels that she has someone to stand by her, understand her and to hear all her thoughts and dreams. But as Jewels secrets start to come out so do that of her familys and what happened in their past.

    This is a fantastic debut novel from Crystal Chan. Bird is moving and emotive, capturing individual characters and situations easily and effectively through stunning prose.

  • A delightful debut novel

    by on

    The first sentence of the story definitely catches your attention. Jewel tells us that her Grandpa killed her brother. We go on to learn that her brother died 12 years ago on the day she was born, he was 5 and attempted to 'fly' off a cliff. He had been nicknamed 'Bird' by her Grandpa.

    There are many elements and messages to this tale. Immigration, friendship, family, death and grief, empathy and adoption. Just to name a few. But the overriding theme is spirituality and religion. Jewel's Grandpa is from Jamaica and he and his son believe in 'duppys' (spirits), curses and the power of words. While Jewel's mother is Christian and scoffs at the these unrealistic concerns. They believe a duppy encouraged Bird to jump off the cliff and when Jewel finds peace and comfort in the same place, her family are frightened. People in the town are also wary due to rumours the family is cursed.

    In all this, Jewel meets a new friend who allows her to open up and become more than Bird's sister. She can talk to him and share her secrets. Which for her is a break from a family where her Grandpa doesn't speak and no one asks how she is doing or what she is thinking. The two children spend time talking about their interests, astronomy and geology (I learnt a few interesting new facts). It is a lovely example of friendship.

    I read this book in a day and would recommend it for upper primary + students (and any adult) who enjoy stories that are a little different.