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The Ever-After Bird

3.87  ·  Rating Details  ·  333 Ratings  ·  54 Reviews
Now that her father is dead, CeCe McGill is left to wonder why he risked his life for the ragged slaves who came to their door in the dead of night. When her uncle, an ornithologist, insists she accompany him to Georgia on an expedition in search of the rare scarlet ibis, CeCe is surprised to learn there's a second reason for their journey: Along the way, Uncle Alex secret
Kindle Edition, 245 pages
Published (first published November 1st 2007)
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Anne Osterlund
CeCe doesn’t believe in the Underground Railroad. It was her father’s passion, and he didn’t love her. He told her she had no soul.

When he dies, Uncle Alex arrives and challenges CeCe to a journey in the South. In search of the Ever-After Bird.

She agrees, but she has no intention of helping her uncle with his larger mission—that of giving the slaves on the plantations directions to find their way north.

The question is . . . who is more stubborn? CeCe or her uncle?

And will the journey prove Papa
Mar 14, 2014 AlixJamie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It has become clear that Ann's best relationships are older male mentor to a young {usually early teen} girl - either a sister or a ward. She's a past master at creating literary crushes {I find one in nearly every book} and her writing just can't be matched. She's SO creative with her words, her dialogue is never dull, her plots are solid, her premises intriguing, her research exhaustive.

Thus she creates CeCe.

To be honest, I didn't really notice the plot. It escalated gradually and came t
I think this read is my favorite of those Rinaldi books I've read to date. The central characters, CeCe, her uncle, and Earline are drawn out just enough to create interest in the characters, while the supporting actors are not as well developed. Still, thinking over these three characters after having finished the book says something about the complex and compelling nature of their depictions.

I was fascinated with Earline as soon as I learned she'd had to swim to freedom. Earline, a slave and c
Sarah Crawford
Feb 03, 2016 Sarah Crawford rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The events of the book take place in 1851.

Ce Ce's , thirteen, parents are dead and she goes to live with her Uncle who paints birds. Her father was an abolitionist, but he was also a very cruel man and was a horrible father to Ce Ce. He's also against slavery, and he takes Ce Ce and a black girl who is studying under him with him to the South. Her Uncle visits plantations, using the cover of finding and painting birds for his real work, which is talking to slaves and showing them what path to ta
Jun 03, 2015 Melinda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This books gives a good look into pre-Civil War plantation life in the South and the Underground Railroad. I always appreciate a book that can show history through an interesting fictitious plot. I recommend it for students who want to gain a greater understanding of slavery in the South, abolitionists, and the Underground Railroad. It could even be used for a little US geography. The book is recommended for ages 10+, but I thought there was some mature content in it, including a reference to ra ...more
I picked this book up on a whim while I was waiting for my son to finish up his library program and I started to read it and got caught up with it. I really did enjoy the book, I just wish the ending was a bit longer. I felt like the meat of the story was well written and developed but they needed to finish the book quickly so they just stopped and then as an after thought wrote a last chapter to try to finish the book and give the rest of the story of the characters. I would have liked it to be ...more
Linda Lipko
Recently, after reading so many books re. the holocaust, I began to point fingers at the Germans, wondering just what kind of culture perpetrated such egregious violence against those whom they deemed less worth.

Then, I was snapped back to reality that cruelty and vile inhumanity isn't reserved merely for the Nazis. In fact, as I'm well aware, our country has a nasty, ugly history of barbarism.

My most recent read is one I highly recommend for many reasons, primarily because of the simple yet com
Megan Marie
Aug 17, 2010 Megan Marie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cover Blurb: At least it doesn’t look dated. I like it well enough, and all the hints about the story it has. Still not my favorite cover out of all her books, though.

What I Liked: One thing I always love about this Author’s books is she can begin a story with a somewhat unlikable protagonist, and by the end of the story, you love her. CeCe is, at first, rather bratty and not the world’s most lovable girl. But as the story progressed, I really began to like her. I liked her more than Earline, wh
Ever-After Bird 6th + YA
Rinaldi, Ann

CeCe McGill, recently orphaned, becomes the ward of her uncle, Dr. Alex McGill. She does not know her uncle or his wife, Aunt Elise, well. Uncle Alex, like CeCe’s father, is a staunch abolitionist. Cece is uncomfortable with abolitionist ideas, not so much because she disagrees with these ideas, but because her father lost his life because of these beliefs. Soon CeCe finds herself traveling from Ohio to Georgia with her uncle and his assistant, Earline as Uncl
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for

If he hadn't been determined to help runaway slaves, he would still be alive. That's why CeCe McGill hates abolitionists. Her father devoted his life and their home to giving aid as part of the Underground Railroad, but it was also what ended his own life when he was shot. His death left CeCe an orphan.

When CeCe's uncle, a doctor and an artist, arrives after her father's death, she is nervous about leaving the only home she's ever k
 Tara ♪
I thought that the book was really good. Ann Rinaldi always writes with great detail and researches phenomenally! The one thing that bugs me about her writing is that the character always does the right thing, unless it endangers her friends and family to do so. That does make the relatability factor go down a bit, i think. I've never read a book of hers where the character doesn't do the right thing even when they could have. Still, a very enjoyable book.

Earline was depicted as the villain for
Feb 22, 2016 Ellen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorites. A historical fiction piece about a teen girl that sets off down South during the time of slavery with her uncle and his assistant, who is an educated black woman. The way they are treated down south while trying to let the slaves know about the underground railroad is a fanscinating look at how one can feel about themselves when viewed by others in situations...
Jennie Vosen
Mar 22, 2014 Jennie Vosen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another great historical fiction book from Ann Rinaldi. This one takes place in pre-civil war Ohio and Georgia. Thirteen-year-old CeCe learns about the horrors of slavery as she tours plantations with her uncle, an ornithologist studying birds of Georgia and who is also a conductor on the underground railroad. I really enjoyed this book.
I was eager to read this novel as of I've read several other of Ann Rinaldi's works. It was an amazing book and I give it five stars. The plot, where the main character gets an inside look at slavery and has to decide her future, was great. I could barely put this down. I also loved that Rinaldi put so much information into it so that it was educational and interesting. For example, she described how a rice plantation was a lot different than a cotton plantation.In addition, this book had very ...more
CeCe is a fourteen year old girl who is an orphan and goes to live with her aunt and uncle in Ohio. Her father was an abolitionist and her uncle is as well. CeCe accompanies her uncle and former slave, Earline on a trip to the South in search of the the rare scarlet ibis. Her uncle is a doctor and ornithologist. While searching for the bird, Uncle Alex secretly tells slaves about the Underground Railroad and how to escape slavery. This book certainly does a good job of depicting the horrors of s ...more
Jun 23, 2008 Cinnamon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: historical fiction lovers
CeCe's father is killed for helping runaway slaves and she is sent to live with her uncle. Uncle Alex is a physician, an orninthologist and an abolitionist. He asks CeCe to accompany him South on a birding expedition, which is also a foil for helping slaves run away. Alex hopes that CeCe will begin to understand abolitionism and why slavery was wrong.

Ann Rinaldi is good at researching whatever topic she writes about, but sometimes her books have a hard time working for the intended audience. Thi
Jul 15, 2009 Celia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-lit
I really like Ann Rinaldi books. She does such a great job with historical fiction, making it very palatable for young people.
This story takes place before the Civil War. Cece, a thirteen year-old girl, does not understand or care about the Abolitionist Movement.
When her father is murdered because of his Aboltionist views, Cece's world is turned around. She gets to travel through the South, to witness slavery firsthand.
Once again, Rinaldi does not write "down" to her young readers. This is a g
Emily Smith
Jan 13, 2012 Emily Smith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012-read
Since I teach Georgia history, I had been searching for books to supplement my lessons about the Civil War in Georgia. I came across Rinaldi's "The Ever-After Bird" and quickly became captivated by the historical facts she easily weaves into her story. It is difficult sometimes to help 8th graders understand slavery and the events that led to the Civil War, but I feel as though this book will give them a better understanding of many aspects of this historic time period.
Barbara Lovejoy
Oct 19, 2014 Barbara Lovejoy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
June 1, 2011: I continue on my quest to read Ann Rinaldi's historical fiction books. I am learning so much and gaining a greater appreciation for different times in the history of our country...and the people who lived during those times.

October 19,2014: I had forgotten that I had already read this book. I'm so glad that I read it again. Each of Ann Rinaldi's books teaches me not only about a time in history, but also about people.
Jul 28, 2009 Keri rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rinaldi gives an interesting view point on slavery through the eyes of a young white girl. Her family are abolitionists. She has never understood why until her father is killed and her uncle takes her on a trip down south to find the Ever-After Bird. Her experiences of southern plantation life open her eyes to a new world of pain and sadness. She begins to understand her family's passion for helping the african-american people.
May 29, 2009 Bob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
Written from the point of view of a 13-year-old white orphan girl, The Ever-After Bird is an interesting story of slavery in the 1850's in the United States. The focus of the story is the girl, her Uncle, a doctor and the painter of birds, and a young runaway slave woman. They travel through the deep South in search of a rare bird. Cecelia, the young girl, experiences the cruel and injustice institution of slavery firsthand.
Jul 09, 2011 Kaarin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoy Rinaldi's books, generally. I really liked the premise of this particular story and Rinaldi is good at creating characters with depth and layers of personal conflict and motivations. However, the writing itself often seemed academic--almost too basic and often repetitive. Also, there were parts of the story that seemed out of place and gratuitous--the protagonist's interest in the heir to a plantation, for example.
Apr 15, 2009 Peggy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As CeCe travels with her uncle through the South searching for the ever-after bird, she discovers that her uncle is actively involved in helping slaves escape through the Underground Railroad. She learns to understand the choices that her father and uncle have made and what kind of person she wants to become. The characters in this book are wonderful and portray the whole range of human emotion.
Great for educators looking for a way to introduce students, esp female ones, to the horrors of pre civil war slavery. Has several references to female "monthly" times that may turn off boys. Also contains some bloopers. It's a pet peeve of mine to spot inconsistencies in books. Cece picks a bouquet of lilacs to take to the cemetery , but bouquet mysteriously becomes peonies when placed on the grave.
Well-written but seriously sad coming-of-age story set in the antebellum South. The major theme is the horrors of slavery and Rinaldi's knowledge is vast and each book about this subject is different. I didn't really care for this book much. It was too serious and sad for me. If you like this subject, read Come Juneteenth, which is also a sobering look at slavery.
Aug 02, 2015 Anna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was my first book I read by this author and I loved it. The characters have real strengths and weaknesses. I felt like I was in Southern Georgia before the Civil War. I felt like a witness to history and every time I read this book I catch a detail that I didn't before. After I read this book I'm not ever going to turn my back on historical again.
May 27, 2009 Michelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting view of the Abolitionist Movement and the Underground Railroad...told from a 13 year old white girl who is on a trip with her "undercover" abolitionish Uncle.

It is always hard for me to read about the mistreatment of anyone, especially of the slaves in the South, but gives a tasteful recount of that time period without being graphic.
This is a story about a girl from PA who goes on a trip with her uncle to the pre-civil war South. It has some similarities to a lot of other books written about slavery and the South, but with a slightly different feel. I really liked it. It's a quick read... I read it this morning... so even if you don't absolutely love it, it's worth reading.
May 29, 2013 Laurie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ann Rinaldi's novels are often quite dark, and this is no exception. A story about the horrors of slavery and the brave folks who helped along the underground railroad. As always I feel that Rinaldi does an amazing job with her historical accurateness, but her character development is sometimes lacking.
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Ann Rinaldi (b. August 27, 1934, in New York City) is a young adult fiction author. She is best known for her historical fiction, including In My Father's House, The Last Silk Dress, An Acquaintance with Darkness, A Break with Charity, and Hang a Thousand Trees with Ribbons. She has written a total of forty novels, eight of which were listed as notable by the ALA. In 2000, Wolf by the Ears was lis ...more
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