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4.11  ·  Rating Details ·  1,013 Ratings  ·  277 Reviews
A girl, who was born on the day her brother Bird died, has grown up in a house of silence and secrets; when she meets John, a mysterious new boy in her rural Iowan town, and those secrets start to come out
ebook, 304 pages
Published January 28th 2014 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers
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May 31, 2016 Ilse rated it really liked it
Secrets, silence and little lies

Joy is like a child… You feed it or it dies.

Where was all this joy, and where does joy go when it leaves your family? Does it goes to someone else’s family, soak into the earth, or does it dissolve away like your breath in the winter? And if it doesn’t leave like this, then why isn’t there any left for me?

This was the 7th out of 8 novels that were selected for the KJV contest 2015-2016 and by far one of the finest young adult novels of the selection. Bird pleasant
See more reviews at YA Midnight Reads

4.5 stars

Bird really surprised me--the writing was absolutely spectacular, I loved the prose so much and I found it hard to put it down because of it. Crystal Chan also mastered the characters. They are perfectly flawed (which sounds awfullycontradictory) and I felt myself growing onto them when I close the book. Thepresence of family is obvious and the drama within was also handled well. You know what? Bird ticks all the boxes for asuccessful contemporary no

When I first heard about Bird from Text I felt really excited. It sounded gorgeous and special and a little bit mysterious. Plus the cover is seriously something else (in person it is even more striking). I dove straight in the day it arrived and had no idea what to expect. It took less than a paragraph to feel hooked, and less than a chapter for Jewel to set up camp in my heart.

Jewel is my favourite kind of heroine: fierce and creative and lonely and marching along to the beat of her own drum.
May 20, 2014 Tara rated it it was amazing
This middle-grade book has gotten much attention, and rightfully so. Chan has a fluid, wise, poetic prose style and a large heart that leaves everything on the page. As someone who is biracial, I wish I had had this book growing up. The narrator, Jewel, is of Jamaican and Mexican descent, and Chan manages to weave in culture, geology, astronomy, and the supernatural all in one touching tale of loss and healing. In a world where children are becoming slaves to the screen, I wish for them Chan's w ...more
Cait (Paper Fury)
I'm actually procrastinating this review! (Proof: I just found this super sweet GIF of Sam and Frodo after they nearly drown.) Why am I procrastinating?

It was so dang good I can't turn it into words!

5-stars isn't even enough! It tore up all my feels and hit all my heartstrings. I just want to gather up EVERYONE in the book and hug them. (I don't even do hugs. But they all need one.)

It's totally sad and beautiful all at once. Can I just mention that this is a debut?! Imagine how fantastic the

Bird is Crystal Chan’s debut novel. Set in Caledonia, Iowa, the story revolves around twelve year old Jewel Campbell. Jewel lives with her parents, her grandfather, and their grief. On the day of her birth, her five year old brother jumped off a cliff, believing her could fly. Her grandfather has never spoken since that day and Jewel has lived with the feeling that she is a sub-par replacement to the son her parents loved so dearly.

I was hooked as soon as Jewel started telling her story; she’s s
Eugenia (Genie In A Book)
Feb 10, 2014 Eugenia (Genie In A Book) rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
*This review also appears on the blog Chasm of Books*

Thank you to Text Publishing Australia for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

Nothing matters, I realized. Only Bird Matters. And he flew away.

I found Bird to be a beautifully written novel of grief, friendship and the idea that although things might not always be what they seem, things can still work out in the end. Crystal Chan has used some evocative imagery throughout the book to set a lovely scene for how
Kelly (Diva Booknerd)
Nov 21, 2014 Kelly (Diva Booknerd) rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookgasm, text
Win a copy of bird

Bird was a beautifully haunting and poignant story about love, loss and how sometimes a family needs to fall apart before we can put it back together. Jewel is an intelligent and empathetic young lady, who deserves to be seen, to be nurtured and to be loved. Her parents may not have intentionally placed expectations upon Jewel, but Jewel certainly has. She sees herself as the replacement child for her brother Bird. Where Bird had the bes
Jan 03, 2014 Sam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received Bird on Christmas Eve, it was a great early present. I dived straight into reading it as I won the book in a giveaway and was asked to review it. Reading the first few pages it jumps straight into what the young girl has coped with through her life. Instead of some books where they take a while to get to the backstory, with Bird it is in the first few lines. Bird is a different genre style to must books as I stick usually to, paranormal and fantasy. But this book has definitely opened ...more
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Actual rating: 3.5 stars

I did not RUE my decision.*

My experience with Bird by Crystal Chan really reaffirms my love of audiobooks. See, this is a book I NEVER would have picked up were it not for the fact that I’m powerless against a celebrity narrator. The blurb of the book really didn’t appeal to me, but Amandla Stenberg is adorable, so I had to try this book. Though it’s very much not my usual type of book, Bird by Crystal Chan really worked, particularly due to Stenberg’s performance.

Read th
Apr 17, 2016 Leselurch rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
*Worum geht's?*
Geburtstage sind für Jewel kein Grund zur Freude. Denn an dem Tag, an dem sie vor nun 13 Jahren auf die Welt gekommen ist, ist ihr Bruder Bird gestorben. Und ihr Großvater hat ihn getötet: Bird, der eigentlich John hieß, ist von der Klippe gesprungen, weil er durch seinen Opa dachte, er könne fliegen. Seitdem hat Jewels Großvater kein Wort mehr gesprochen. Stumm fristet er sein Dasein in seinem Zimmer, in dem er sich völlig verschanzt. Als Jewel eines Tages einen Jungen namens Joh
Mar 03, 2015 Gina rated it really liked it
Inspired by nature, superstition, and tradition Bird by Crystal Chan is a stunning middle grade debut. In a small Iowan town Jewel is born on the day her brother dies. Now 12 years old for Jewel living in a home filled with silent grief and secrets is all she has ever known, until she finds a boy in her favorite climbing tree.

I thoroughly enjoyed this read, the writing style is so down-to-earth. Chan takes time to beautifully describe our connection with the natural world, a central theme in th
My ARC of Bird was sent to me by the publisher through Goodreads First Reads giveaway. I was not obligated to write a positive review. This is my full and honest opinion.

Cover Blurb: Yes or No? There's nothing very exciting about the cover art, and normally I wouldn't pay it much mind. But I do have a thing for silhouettes, and once I saw the silhouette I decided to read the synopsis. And that's what really caught my attention. Intrigue-level aside, it is aesthetically pleasing. I love the blue-
All I can really say about this gorgeous book is that it resonated a lot with me.

I randomly picked this up because it looked and sounded interesting and I was taken by surprise. I was not disappointed at all. A very refreshing read and it made me realise that I'd love to see more YA Fiction novels from the perspective of younger teens. Rather than the 15-16 age group it would be interesting to see more novels from the perspective of a twelve year old as the mindsets of the different ages is very
Harun Harahap
Apr 03, 2016 Harun Harahap rated it really liked it
Kisah ini berawal dari sebuah kematian yang berbarengan dengan kelahiran.

John atau Bird, nama pemberian kakeknya, harus berpulang ke Tuhan karena mencoba terbang dari tebing curam. Pada saat yang bersamaan Jewel pun lahir.

Kematian Bird memengaruhi kehidupan keluarga Jewel secara keseluruhan. Dari sini kita bisa melihat bahwa kematian ternyata bisa mengendalikan kehidupan.

Kisah ini semakin rumit ketika seorang anak mirip Bird datang ke lingkungan keluarga Jewel. Anak itu juga bernama John. Ayah d
Feb 13, 2014 Chrissi rated it it was amazing
When Bird died, his sister Jewel was born. Her grandfather stopped speaking and the family were left grieving, grief that never seemed to be coming to an end. Jewel’s parents blamed Grandpa for Bird’s death. This stemmed from Bird’s real name being John, but Grandpa said he looked more like a Bird. Bird took himself to the cliff one day, to see if he could really fly. He couldn’t.

One aspect of this book that really grabbed me was Crystal Chan’s writing. Even from the first sentence, I was utter
Vicki Cose
Nov 10, 2015 Vicki Cose rated it it was amazing
Loved the beauty of the language in this story!
Plot is filled with multiple themes of
friendship, family and death.
Feb 17, 2014 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
I won this book through goodreads first-reads and I loved it. It's really aimed at young teenagers I would say, but the simplicity in the writing made it such a relaxing book that I was immediately drawn in and felt calm just sitting down to read. The writing is beautiful.

The story's lovely, especially the friendship that develops between Jewel and the boy that she meets. For me the best thing about this book were their interactions and their growing relationship. Two very clever children sharin
Jeann (Happy Indulgence)
This review appears on Happy Indulgence. Check it out for more reviews!

Bird swooped in, gripped my heart and made it soar with its poignant, heart breaking story rippling with grief, and ending with hope.

Jewel’s story is aching with heart break and lost moments, as her family seem to be a broken shell. She never knew her brother Bird, but feels his presence in everything around her – her family’s grief, her grandpa’s silence and anger, and her private place at the cliff. She’s an unlucky child w
Jan 23, 2014 ALPHAreader rated it really liked it
Shelves: wish-list
Jewel was born the day her brother John ‘Bird’ died. On that day, Jewel’s birthday, her Grandpa stopped talking and the whole family became quiet and sad … and they’ve stayed that way for the last 12 years.

Then, on her 12th birthday, Jewel climbs a tree and meets a boy called John. John is African-American, adopted by white parents and obsessed with becoming an astronaut. In Jewel, he finds a kindred spirit, not least of all because in their small Iowa town Jewel and John stick out;

“You’re not
Jan 30, 2014 C rated it it was amazing
I feel like I just received a warm, caring hug. It’s not something that will protect or shield me from the pitfalls of life, but it is a hug that tells me that I’m never alone.

Title: Bird

Author: Crystal Chan

Genre: Realistic Fiction (Coming of Age)

Reviewer: C

Rating: 5/5 stars

Summary: On the day Jewel was born, her brother Bird died. Ever since that day, Jewel’s life has been filled with silence and unspoken secrets about the past. Ignored by her parents and a grandfather who has not spoken a sing
Lucia Ashta
Oct 14, 2013 Lucia Ashta rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
This book was deep, moving, and poignant, written with simple language and beautiful prose. The story moved along nicely, the characters were heartfelt, and the story was moving. The story was both sad and joyful at the same time.

The story was also unusual, and I enjoyed it that much more because of this. The author explored what could be considered a tragic concept and gave it depth and beauty, and used it as a basis for character growth. At the end of the day, all people want the same thing: l
The day Jewel was born, her five-year old brother, Bird, tried to fly… but didn’t survive the fall. Her family has been broken ever since. Her grandfather has not spoken a word since that day and is a husk of the man he used to be. Her parents seem to barely notice her and Jewel is still living in the shadow of the brother she never even met. When Jewel meets John, the nephew of a neighbour, the secrets of the past and the things her family won’t talk about come to the surface and force everyone ...more
Gayle Rosengren
Nov 20, 2013 Gayle Rosengren rated it it was amazing
BIRD is a beautifully written story about a character who will climb into your heart and never leave. Lyrical prose, fully developed characters, and a compelling situation all combine to make this a must-read for anyone who loves middle grade literature. I was fortunate enough to read an advanced reader copy of this book, but you'll be able to find it at bookstores and libraries in January.
May 08, 2016 Squibart rated it really liked it
This is the type of book I love. It has flawed characters living in emotional circumstances, some mystery, a story tinged with possible magic/ spiritual elements, and lots of beautiful examples of figurative language. I listened to this on audiobook, and while I enjoyed the narration I really wish I would have read a real copy of Bird so I could have highlighted some of the lines in the book. The author did a good job taking the perspective of a twelve year old girl, Jewel, who narrates the stor ...more
Originally posted on Once Upon a Bookcase

When I first heard about Bird, I was so intrigued. You only have to read the above to think, "Woah!" And wonder what happens next, what this does to a family. I was so eager to read it, and so glad I did. Bird is such a moving story!

Twelve years have passed since Bird's death, yet Jewel's home is still so full of grief. Bird may be dead, but he's not gone. He's there in Grandpa's silence, in Jewel's mum's endless sadness, in her dad's obsession with duppi
Jan (lost pages)
3,5 Sterne!

Normalerweise freuen sich Kinder auf ihren Geburtstag. Die zwölfjährige Jewel nicht, denn als sie geboren wurde, ist ihr älterer Bruder von einer Klippe in den Tod gesprungen. Seither wird dieses Thema in der Familie gemieden und Jewel versucht ihr Bestes, um die Stimmung im Haus nicht zu verderben. Aber sie fühlt einsam, bis sie eines Tage einen Jungen kennenlernt. John bringt wieder Leben in die Familie, aber Jewel muss bald bitter feststellen, dass die Geister der Vergangenh
Debbie Garza
Aug 31, 2014 Debbie Garza rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Crystal Chan's first novel BIRD is a poignant story of a young lady, Jewel, who was born into a family at a time of darkness and despair. She was born on the same day that her brother, Bird, died. She has never known anything other that heartache & sadness as the weight of that terrible fateful day drags her family down. Jewel has lost someone she has never even known and in the midst of everything wonders why no one see her. After all, she is alive.

This culturally diverse story will pull at
Razan Alghriafi
Aug 10, 2016 Razan Alghriafi rated it liked it
For a while, a felt that I'm reading an ordinary scenario for an ordinary American movie.
It's got me depressed.
Slow, sad drama that finally solved all problems at the end.
Nothing special..
Melissa Landers
Jul 15, 2013 Melissa Landers rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2k14
An achingly poignant and beautifully written story of love, loss, coming of age, family bonds, and second chances. Fantastic debut, Crystal!
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Crystal Chan grew up as a mixed-race kid in the middle of the Wisconsin cornfields and has been trying to find her place in the world ever since. Over time, she found that her heart lies in public speaking, performing, and ultimately, writing. She has published articles in several magazines; given talks and workshops across the country; facilitated discussion groups at national conferences; and be ...more
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“That's one of the things about adults: the most important rules to keep are the ones they never tell you and the ones they get the angriest about if you break.” 10 likes
“If you give up too much of yourself, too fast, then someone can just up and take it away.” 7 likes
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