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One Bird

3.61 of 5 stars 3.61  ·  rating details  ·  103 ratings  ·  11 reviews
"STUNNING, EVOCATIVE . . . [A] well-crafted coming-of-age novel."
--School Library Journal
Fifteen-year-old Megumi was very sad when her parents broke up. But now, with her mother running off on a "trip" to her own childhood home, Megumi is left to stay with her father (who is never around) and her cranky grandmother (who is unfortunately always around).
Just when she feels t
Paperback, 256 pages
Published September 30th 1996 by Fawcett (first published 1995)
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To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper LeeThe Raven by Edgar Allan PoeI Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya AngelouMake Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskeyHarry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling
The Birds
87th out of 373 books — 67 voters
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Books with birds in the title
207th out of 632 books — 131 voters

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Community Reviews

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Jessica Gorgchuck
A 15-year-old girl in Japan named Megumi Shimizu is going through a rough time; her mother, whom she is extremely close with has left her, and she is forced to live with her father who is neglectful and spends most of his time working or with his girlfriend in Hiroshima, and her father’s mother who is a mean old woman who nags Megumi constantly.

When Megumi feels that she has lost all hope, she meets a young veterinarian named Dr. Mizutani, known throughout town as the “bird lady”, as she special
I bought this book a few months ago, during Frugal Muse's going out of business sale.
I read most of Mori's books as a kid. Since I grew up in Green Bay, her fiction was readily available, as she taught nearby at St. Norbert's.

One Bird has some similarities to her more famous Shizuko's Daughter in that it's about a Japanese high school girl coping with an unhappy home life. In One Bird, Megumi finds a role model in Dr. Mizutani, who shows her how to rehabilitate sick birds.

The book spends a lot o
Megumi is a girl whose father rarely comes home and has a mother who loves her a lot. But one day, her mother decides to leave her, although it is not Megumi's fault. Her mother is unhappy with being married to her husband and must leave Megumi, for in Japan, once the woman divorces her husband, she must go back home to her parents. Megumi doesn't understand, thinking that her own mother is abandoning her without even caring. She hates the letters that she receives from her, because she thinks t ...more
While not overly engaging, this book still provides some useful insights into recent situations in Japan. In America, divorce is far from welcomed, but children with divorced parents are still accepted by society and their peers. In the novel, Megumi's parents choose only to separate, despite the extreme misery her mother finds in her marriage and the fact that her father has already had a new girlfriend for quite some time. They do this because divorce is extremely rare in 1975 Japan; in Megumi ...more
Lit Log for One Bird by Kyoko Mori

Kyoko Mori’s novel, One Bird, is a wonderful portrait of a girl coming to terms not only with her parents’ separation, but also with herself. Through the course of the novel, Megumi, a 15 year old Japanese student, discovers who she is an what kind of influence and power she has.
The fact that Megumi realizes that she is not powerless against her father and grandmother is a bit disturbing. Although it is empowering for girls to read about female figures who have
Emily Crow
A nice coming of age story set in Japan in the 1970s. Megumi, the main character, is trying to find her way after her mother leaves and she realizes she no longer has faith in God. Finding an injured bird in her yard, she takes it to a vet and wild bird rehabber, Dr. Mizutani. As a single, professional woman, Dr. Mizutani also does not fit in to her society, and yet she is full of strength and passion and takes Megumi under her wing. As Megumi learns to care for injured and abandoned birds and h ...more
Fifteen and all is right with the world that is, until your mother leaves. Not just for a trip. For good. Her father doesn't care. He spends all the time he can with his mistress. Her grumpy grandmother only finds fault with her. Megumi is forbidden to contact her mother in any way. Her dismal life seems impossible until she finds an injured waxwing in their garden. The story and a new friendship emerges from this simple incident. I liked this story about a young girl coping with a broken family ...more
This book is so wonderful. Kyoko Mori is a talented writer and story-teller. Everything was so good. I can feel the situation deeply and how it affects the characters. There are some situations that I can relate to Megumi. There are lots of sad and touching scenes in the book. My favorite moment is when Megumi won the essay-writing contest and her piece will be put in a time capsule that will be open in year 2000 (the setting of the story is during 1970’s). It was like her moment of glory and I ...more
Sophia Cloutier
Kyoko mori's book One Bird was a very compelling. I had a hard time putting it down. I kept siding with the main character megumi whose mother had left because she divorsed megumi's father and that left megumi alone because her father isn't really a compassionate parent even though he was always trying. On top of that her grandmother feels that she is inferior because she didn't really like megumi's mother. so I would recommend this book to anyone who likes japanese culture or like reading about ...more
I really enjoy reading books by this author - this is the second one I've read. The stories of Japan transport me to a place that I've never been...but hope to visit one day.
Really good story, especially for a free book! Good find. Shows you a hard time in 15 year old Megumi's life and how she works through her broken family.
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Kyoko Mori was born in Kobe, Japan, in 1957. As a young girl, she learned numerous ways to be creative, including drawing, sewing, and writing, from her mother and her mother's family. From those family members, Mori says, "I came to understand the magic of transformation — a limitless possibility of turning nothing into something."

Mori's life changed completely at age 12, when her mother died. He
More about Kyoko Mori...
Shizuko's Daughter Yarn: Remembering the Way Home Polite Lies: On Being a Woman Caught Between Cultures The Dream of Water: A Memoir Stone Field, True Arrow: A Novel

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