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Moonbird: A Year on the Wind with the Great Survivor B95

3.89  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,343 Ratings  ·  233 Reviews
B95 can feel it: a stirring in his bones and feathers. It’s time. Today is the day he will once again cast himself into the air, spiral upward into the clouds, and bank into the wind.
He wears a black band on his lower right leg and an orange flag on his upper left, bearing the laser inscription B95. Scientists call him the Moonbird because, in the course of his astoundingl
Hardcover, 160 pages
Published July 17th 2012 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
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Newbery 2013
32nd out of 113 books — 1,204 voters
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,415)
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Quite possibly one of the best children's nonfiction books I've ever read. Rufa Red Knot, B95, (known as Moonbird) has flown so many miles in his 19 year lifespan, he could have flown to the moon. Surviving harsh conditions, dwindling food sources, and grueling flights across oceans, this valiant superbird "has to be among the toughest four ounces of life in the world." Using B95 as the protagonist in a riveting survival story, Phillip Hoose describes the plight of migratory shorebirds, who are ...more
Barb Middleton
Apr 14, 2013 Barb Middleton rated it it was amazing
Ever hear of a robin-sized bird that flies from South Pole to the North Pole? Me neither. This story follows the migratory patterns of Moonbird, a rufa red knot, that travels 18,000 miles each year on a primordial quest for food and mates. Researchers tagged Moonbird in 1995 and ironically put a band on his leg that represented the captured group B series - he just happened to be number 95. The author tends to call him B95 moreso than Moonbird. Moonbird's name reflects that after twenty years, h ...more
I loved this book at first, but it lost some speed with me. Hoose does a great job at writing the drama of the scientists waiting on beaches, the average people making discoveries and turning into scientists, and his own role in a bird-banding. I was far less taken with the sections about Moonbird himself that are speculative and somewhat anthropomorphic; I didn't find them an effective method of story-telling or fact-sharing. I would have been happy with a book that didn't have a central charac ...more
Jennie Smith
Jul 08, 2013 Jennie Smith rated it it was amazing
I can honestly say that I never thought I would be one scouring the Internet to see if a bird was still alive. Never having a bird when growing up, I didn't understand the love people had for them. Now, however, I am a regular checker-upper on Moonbird. This book was recommended to me by an amazing teacher friend who warned me that I would become invested in the bird. I didn't really take her seriously (about the "becoming invested" part), but I should have.

This book was not only fascinating in
Jim Erekson
Apr 17, 2013 Jim Erekson rated it really liked it
Another difficult review to write, because this book is a genre-breaker. Like Helfer's book about the lion, this one is really a biography but it's about an animal rather than a person. Hoose dedicates the careful attention to this individual bird we would expect from a biographer. At the same time, however, the book is jam-packed with all of the visual features and structure we have come to expect from exemplary informational text.

1. Sourcing. Eight pages of chapter by chapter notes in back ma
Jan 28, 2013 Brandy rated it really liked it
I'll just come right out and say it, I don't normally read non-fiction books. Since I have been keeping up this year with mock newbery titles and this was one of them, I decided to go for it.

I wasn't sure what I was expecting when I picked this book up, but I wasn't expecting what I got. When I first opened it up, I was a little disheartened to see that it looked like a textbook. Text on the page with text boxes, pictures and maps thrown on the pages too.

I jumped into reading it and was really s
Anne Broyles
May 11, 2013 Anne Broyles rated it it was amazing
Science rarely interests me. I am more the humanities/history type. Phillip Hoose's books are so enticingly written and beautifully illustrated, I am hooked. And how could anyone resist the beautiful B95, a rufa red-knot (shorebird) who has survived at least twenty years of migrating 9,000 miles each way from Tierra del Fuego to the Canadian Arctic.

Hoose tells a compelling story with a memorable protagonist who happens to be the size of a robin. And as he does, the author teaches about extinctio
Patricia Powell
Aug 12, 2013 Patricia Powell rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade
One small shorebird, a rufa redknot, tagged B95 many years ago, has probably lived longer than 20 years. His history and that of all rufas is told by master storyteller Phillip Hoose in “Moonbird: a Year on the Wind with the Great Survivor B95” (Farrar 2012).
Every year B95 and his compadre rufas migrate from the southern tip of South America, Tierra del Fuego to the Canadian Arctic and back again. “But trip by trip, B95 threads the sky with fewer companions.” “Can humans and shorebirds coexist
Elissa Schaeffer
Sep 10, 2014 Elissa Schaeffer rated it really liked it
What did I know about Rufa Red Knots prior to this month? Nothing. What do I know now? LOTS.

I had heard that this was a great book but it took me a while to get to it. In fact, I listened to the audio book over the course of two weeks during my commute. I really enjoyed how Hoose gave us the story of the Knots through one particular, amazing bird. Through this lens we are introduced to B95 and Knots in general as we follow them through their yearly migrations.

Hoose also made me care about these
Kris Springer
Jan 20, 2013 Kris Springer rated it really liked it
Not sure this is a Newbery contender but I enjoyed reading this heroic tale of Moonbird, a.k.a. B95, a Rufa Red Knot shorebird that flies thousands of miles from Tierra del Fuego to northern Canada. Challenged by weather and man, the Rufa Red Knot population is plummeting. Hoose hopes that his book can help young & old learn about these beautiful birds and help save them from extinction. Writing was clear, compelling, entertaining. Lots of great scientific info about how the birds are trappe ...more
Oct 21, 2015 Cari rated it it was amazing
I liked this book :o)
Rachel Lizan
May 01, 2014 Rachel Lizan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: libs-642
Description: B95 or Moonbird, is rufa shorebird who has survived numerous migration journeys on his massive circuit from the Southern tip of South America up to the Artic Circle, while a majority of his population has decreased in his lifetime.

Genre: Informational - Science

Intended Audience: 4th - 7th Grade

Curriculum Connection: Life science classes learn about migration patterns of animals and also about the process that makes an animal extinct. Both of these topics are seen in this book and wo
Mar 08, 2014 NebraskaIcebergs rated it it was amazing
Moonbird: A Year on the Wind with the Great Survivor B95 by Phillip Hoose is not just your ordinary nonfiction book. It’s not even your average book about birds or endangered animals. Rather it’s on multiple lists of the best books of 2012, which is where I first encountered it. Moonbird is also the recipient of The Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal Honor, which is why I first decided to read it. It has even won several awards for best science book.

Hoose focuses on an individual bird: B9
Lee Ann
Mar 06, 2016 Lee Ann rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016
Well, this definitely beat the other choices I had this week for my YA Resources course.

Moonbird is a pretty informational nonfiction book about a rufa red knot, identified as "B95" or "Moonbird," known for flying an insane amount of miles (to the moon and over halfway back) over his 20-or-so years alive.

As a nonfiction resource for young adults, I would give it 5 stars. It's well-written, not too dense with numbers and/or big scientific words, and the terms that are present are clearly defined
Nov 28, 2012 Patricia rated it did not like it
Read for Mock Printz
I get a big heavy feeling in my chest when I read about species in peril because it seems to be too big of a problem for anyone to solve and the whole thing feels hopeless. This book is about the amazing journey of a bird, but it's also about the trouble his fellow birds are in. I don't know what to do about that and dealt with my despair by putting the book down and never picking it up again.

Also, I found the prose rather breathless. And that annoyed me.
Jul 15, 2014 Travis rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Moonbird is the story of a particularly extraordinary rufa red knot, a subspecies of migratory shorebirds. The bird is named B95, a title designated to him simply by the letter and number on the tag that scientists branded him with. Coincidentally, B95 was first discovered by scientists in 1995 on an island in Patagonia, the southernmost tip of South America. B95 had his adult plumage when he was first tagged, suggesting that he was at least 3 years old. At the time, B95 and the rest of his floc ...more
Michael Duffey
Apr 27, 2014 Michael Duffey rated it liked it
Recommended to Michael by:
Shelves: 642-shelf
Genre: Nonfiction
Age Range: 4th-8th Grade

Summary: The story Moonbird follows the flight path of B95 or more precisely a Rufa (type of bird) and his travels all around the world.

Curriculum Connection: After reading this book and discussing how scientists were able to track B95 throughout his journey, the students and I will go to a website that allows us to track the movement of great white sharks (forgot the name of the website). This would be a fun science activity to track and plot the various
Dec 31, 2012 Elizabeth rated it liked it
I read this for the YALSA 2013 Morris/Nonfiction Challenge. I never would have read it otherwise, but it is pretty good. It was nice that he added profiles of some of the people who are involved in tracking this bird. I thought the whole book made it clear that regular people could be involved in this type of activity, that you don't need to be an official scientist to participate in some way.
Liz B
Jan 17, 2015 Liz B rated it it was amazing
This book is amazing because I am really not at all inherently interested in migratory shorebirds--and yet I found the book fascinating, and was compelled to pick it back up multiple times when I really had other things I should've been doing.

Phillip Hoose (who wrote the fantastic Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice, spent a year visiting the stopover points for the red knot, a shorebird that migrates from the southern tip of South America to the Arctic every year. The book explains how and w
Thomas Frey
Nov 18, 2015 Thomas Frey rated it it was amazing
Moonbird by Phillip Hoose is a book that tells the story of what it is like to be a bird of the red knot species. In this book, the author tells the story about one bird in particular named B95. The reason why B95 if so special is because he has flown a distance that comes to be equivalent to traveling to the moon and half way back in his twenty plus years of his lifetime. The purpose behind this book is to help spread awareness for these great animals because they are on the verge of becoming e ...more
Peter Besbeas
Apr 28, 2014 Peter Besbeas rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical
This book is about an extraordinary bird that people call the moon bird. The moon bird is called this because he has flown the distance of the moon and halfway back in his lifetime. Moon bird is a rufa red knot (population of rufa red knots that died is at 80%). Moon bird is approximately 20 years of age and is a little bird. Moon bird travels in Febraury with his flock from Tierra del Fuego (which is the breeding ground) to the Canadian Arctic, which is about 9000 miles away. Then during the la ...more
Feb 19, 2014 Maggie rated it really liked it
What may come across as a boring and dry book about a bird was actually fun to read and very enlightening. I knew of the connection between red knots and horseshoe crabs prior to this book, but the journey that a red knot endures each year was new to me and made me remember the joy I have in observing shorebirds. I couldn't help but think of my own story as I read this one, and it opened my eyes to a few different ways I could have gone. Not everybody will have the patience to read this whole bo ...more
I'm going to agree with Donalyn, whose review claims, "Quite possibly one of the best children's nonfiction books I've ever read." I'd also recommend it to adults. Fascinating, encouraging, and inspiring. And I love books with a "What you can do" section, like this one has in the Appendix.
Ashley Sampson
Apr 16, 2015 Ashley Sampson rated it really liked it
"Moonbird" is a nonfiction book about B95, a rufa red knot shorebird who was first tagged in 1995 as a young bird. It is said that he was at least 3 years old at that time, maybe even older, yet he still travels and survives his migration journey every year. In his life it is said that he has flown a distance equal to a trip to the moon and back. For a bird weighing 4 ounces, this is no small feat! This book (which is more like a novel) was quite intimidating at first sight, but I quickly became ...more
Kim Struyk
Dec 03, 2014 Kim Struyk rated it really liked it
Hoose, P. (2012). Moonbird. New York: Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers

Sibert Medal 2012

This book had GREAT information! I am having a hard time categorizing it, however. It is obviously and informative book, non-fiction, but there is also a narrative for the bird itself! I found this creative and would be interesting to the typical animal loving 5th-8th grader, but there are assumptions and personification going on that I'm not too sure of.

This book would make a great tool in a class
Mar 13, 2015 Marlene rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
What a beautiful and important book for all ages. Moonbird is a 20 year old rufa red knot shore bird. The book uses him to explain the annual migration of the birds from the tip of South America to the Canadian Arctic - halfway to the moon and back.
Moonbird or B95 as he's know by those who banded and track him is the bird used to explain the migratory path and the critical feeding stops along the journey. If Moonbird is to survive (the population is decreasing)humans need to be aware of the dama
Mar 13, 2014 Pam rated it it was ok
BOB 2013-14.

I really don't know how to write a review of this book because I didn't finish it. It wasn't bad, but there were other books to read and I didn't feel compelled. This is the biography of a bird, B95 by name, but it is also the story of his species. I had never heard of a rufa red knot before. I doubt I will ever see one. But it is sad to hear of a species that may become extinct.

Looks like a textbook. Text boxes, beautiful pictures, annotated sources. Great narrative nonfiction. I j
Kate MacMillan
Jan 12, 2016 Kate MacMillan rated it it was amazing
B95 is a robin-sized shorebird, a red knot of the subspecies rufa. Each February he joins a flock that lifts off from Tierra del Fuego, headed for breeding grounds in the Canadian Arctic, nine thousand miles away. Late in the summer, he begins the return journey.
B95 can fly for days without eating or sleeping, but eventually he must descend to refuel and rest. However, recent changes at ancient refueling stations along his migratory circuit—changes caused mostly by human activity—have reduced th
Jul 17, 2015 Linnae rated it really liked it
Moonbird, a red knot shorebird tagged nearly 20 years ago, has been sighted several times over the years. He has survived even while the red knot population has decreased by 80%.

Hoose tells the story of these amazing birds and their migratory patterns, from the tip of South America up to their nesting grounds in the Canadian arctic, and back. Each year. He also includes short bios of several prominent scientists working on tracking and advocating for them, along with a few kids who are helping
Sep 19, 2012 Donna rated it really liked it
Shelves: tweens, children
This is an intriguing story about the amazing annual journey of a particular type of shorebird, the red knots, as they move their small bodies up and down the globe. The story is made even more fascinating with its focus on one bird, tagged as B95 approximately 17 years ago, who continues to make and survive this journey, becoming a hero for shorebird advocates. Phillip Hoose spends a chapter on each leg of the birds' journey, including compelling details of the fragility their food chain, how t ...more
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Phillip Hoose is the widely-acclaimed author of books, essays, stories, songs, and articles, including the National Book Award winning book, Claudette Colvin: Twice Towards Justice.

He is also the author of the multi-award winning title, The Race to Save the Lord God Bird, the National Book Award Finalist We Were There Too!: Young People in U.S. History, and the Christopher Award-winning manual for
More about Phillip M. Hoose...

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“Each species with which we share the earth is a success story. Each of our cohabitants has evolved an ingenious set of life strategies, and made them work. To live on an earth without fascinating, often beautiful creatures would be to live on a lesser earth. The trick is not to let them slip away, but to understand and help them on their terms.” 1 likes
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