Another Review at MyShelf.Com

Night Bird
Alice Hoffman

Random House Children's Books
03/10/2015/ ISBN 9780385389587
Tweener / Fantasy / Ages 10 - 13 Years

Reviewed by Brenda Weeaks


“Whispers of a monster, half man, half myth and fairy tales are real in Berkshire County”

Teresa (Twig) lives in Sidwell, Massachusetts, with her mother and her brother, James. Twig’s mother, Sophee Fowler, avoids people. Sophee thinks her family should “live in the corner of everyday life.” The locals think Sophee is pretty but sad. Twig’s family lives on a 200-year-old farm family. They own an apple orchard that produces pink apples. There is a rumor their family was cursed by a witch.

Twig is the narrator of Nightbird. She sets up a tale of mystery when she reveals items are vanishing, someone is spray-painting property, and there are rumors of a mysterious creature living in their town. It’s bigger than an eagle, oversized dragon, or maybe an oversized bat. Twig then becomes part of the cast as we read about her everyday life, how she interacts with her family and townsfolk, and becomes friends with her new neighbor Julie. Julie is a relative of the witch who cursed Twig’s family 200 years ago. The narrative takes on a foreboding tone, which keeps the pages turning, because we have to find out what’s really going on. Twig has a kind outlook of the townsfolk and eventually helps to unravel the mysteries haunting their county.

Nightbird is a magical read full of kind people. It’s one of those youthful tales destined to stay with young readers as they age. It’s a story of mystery, loneliness, and friendship as Twig and the town of Sidwell experience something that frees them all. Nightbird is about summer and growing up, which makes it the perfect summer read. Nightbird is a mild fantasy -- there is no a heavy emotion or violence in the storyline -- so parents can rest easy.

Reviewed 2015