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3.62  ·  Rating Details ·  340 Ratings  ·  85 Reviews
A girl easily carried off by the wind.

An elderly widow whose husband died under strange circumstances.

An isolated dwelling that breeds fear.

Miranda has no recollection of where she came from—only that years ago, a gust of wind deposited her outside Bourne Manor. The Manor’s sole inhabitant, Wysteria Barrows, took Miranda in and promptly outfitted her with special boots—boo
Hardcover, 160 pages
Published October 14th 2008 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2008)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Dec 29, 2008 Stacy268 rated it liked it
Shelves: tween
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 05, 2009 Patricia rated it really liked it
Another little jewel of a book from Rita Murphy, about a young girl who is so light that the wind picks her up and carries her off. She ends up being rescued by a woman who owns the mysterious Bourne Manor, who takes her in and gives her shelter and clothing. She also makes her mend fishing nets to keep them solvent, homeschools her in whatever she thinks is important, and makes her wear weighted steel boots so she can't fly off again. Miranda secretly explores the huge house, and knows there ar ...more
Jan 19, 2009 Kathleen rated it it was ok
Shelves: y-a
This one is a little like a beautiful balloon - an intricate and interesting exterior, but hollow inside... The protagonist is a tiny girl who is blown around by the wind until she finds a home at Bourne Manor. The old house on the edge of a cliff is rumored to be haunted, and Miranda has strange and mysterious experiences with the house, its mistress, and the kites she finds hidden in the top-most room. She knows no one and nothing beyond Bourne Manor, until a boy named Farley comes into her li ...more
Miranda is a slight girl who is easily lifted and carried by the wind. It deposited her next to Bourne Manor, an imposing house that is home to the widow Wysteria and the four Hounds. Wysteria takes Miranda in - the girl has no memory of where she came from before the wind took her - and puts her to work mending nets for the local fisherman. She also makes Miranda wear a pair of weighted shoes, to keep her from flying off again. As the years pass, Miranda learns some of the secrets of the Manor, ...more
Katie W
May 07, 2015 Katie W rated it really liked it
Though not directly related, this book made me think about light overcoming darkness, goodness overcoming evil and how knowing God helps us do that. Because of Christ's sacrifice and God's grace we are no longer slaves to sin and we owe no allegiance to the Devil-the curse of sin and death have been broken. Our only allegiance is to God and we follow God's Spirit that lives within us. The Holy Spirit leads us to the truth and helps us overcome the darkness, just like Farley helps Miranda overcom ...more
Mar 24, 2009 Tracie rated it really liked it
I really liked this story of Miranda, who blew in on the wind one day and was found by the cold, widowed Wisteria of Manor Bourne. Wisteria literally creates boots that keep Miranda anchored to the ground, but it is Manor Bourne that seems to keep her spirit caged.
Apr 03, 2009 Daniel rated it liked it
There is something very appealing about this book -- partly it's Rita Murphy's writing style, partly it's the just slightly off-kilter characters and story (aptly depicted by the artist of the hardcover version). But at the same time, there's something definitely lacking here. There was no sense of accomplishment; no big "hurrah" for the young girl at the end, and that says to me that we didn't care for her enough.

I've been talking to my theatre class about 'dramatic conflict' and while I know t
May 09, 2009 Lora rated it it was ok
Shelves: children-s-lit
Miranda lives in an ancient house known as Bourne Manor with Wisteria, the old owner of the manor. Miranda has no memory of how she arrived at Bourne Manor aside from the fact that she was blown their by the wind. Now she lives with Wisteria, mending fishing nets, and rarely leaving the house. Wisteria keeps her secure inside the house so that she won't float away on the wind again.

Miranda starts to explore the mansion and discovers a hidden attic filled with kites. She starts to fly them from t
Jul 13, 2009 Brandy rated it really liked it
Shelves: teen, library, 2009
As a child, Miranda was carried on the wind to Bourne Manor and taken in by the widow Wysteria Barrows. Wysteria gives her a place to live, work to do, and boots with steel plates to anchor her to the ground, lest she blow away on the next gust. But the house is cold and somehow menacing, and there are secrets in the house that Miranda can only hope to discover while she still has the opportunity to break free.

To call this "breezy" is to do it a disservice, but it does have the airy quality of b
Nov 30, 2009 Karen rated it it was amazing
This book is so beautiful, and not just the cover, which is also stunning. I love the main character, Miranda, a girl so light she is carried off by the wind. It is almost like a dream, and has beautiful sentences and poetic imagry. When she discribes the red dragon kite flying away...and other scenes in the book, it almost seemed like poetry. I know some people have written bad reviews for this book and say that it's not good enough for "thier high and mighty expectations for books that they re ...more
Jan 20, 2010 Mindy rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
This is a lovely little story. I read it in about an hour and a half, so when I say "little" I mean quite short.

It's kind of a sweet, innocent story too. While there was nothing outwardly fantastical about it, there were hints of ghosts, houses with souls, and maybe fairies or bird-people. What I really loved is that while there were hints, and a mystery, the conclusions of such things were left to the reader's imagination. I enjoyed that Murphy brought images and characters to life, and as the
Sarah Sammis
I spotted Bird by Rita Murphy by the beautiful cover art and checked it out from the library at the same time that I got My One Hundred Adventures by Polly Horvarth. Both covers reminded me (in passing) of Up.

Miranda lives with the elderly widow, Wysteria. They live the old seaside Bourne Manor, shut off from the rest of the world. Their lives revolve around the sea and the house: making nets, keeping a lantern lit for ships at sea and keeping the drafts out of the house.

Miranda though is young
Sherry Dale Rogers
Mar 05, 2010 Sherry Dale Rogers rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: middle grade fiction
Shelves: book-reviews
"Fear is a strange thing. It can creep unnoticed into your mind, seize hold of your reason and take root." With an excerpt like that who would not want to read this book.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to fly, not in a plane, but like a bird? To be able to soar above the trees and bask in the beauty of all that lies below . . . well . . . if you have then “bird” is the book for you.

Not only is it filled with mystery and love, within its pages’ lies an entanglement of beauty. The im
Bird is a bewitching little story - as slight as Miranda herself, and as full of enchantment and wonder. Well-written and full of mystery, the plot is intriguing and interesting. What exactly is Miranda? And is Wysteria really the villain of the piece or is it the house itself? These questions and Rita Murphy's vivid descriptions of the coast kept me turning pages until the end. The only thing that I could have wished for would be more pages to help develop the story of Bourne Manor. I would hav ...more
Jun 11, 2010 Kate rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2010
In all honesty, I am at a loss for words on where to begin with discussing my feelings on this novel. When I sat down and thought about how to describe this novel, one word kept running through my head: unique. Now in most cases, this can be a really great way to describe a novel. But, unfortunately, I am not sure that this applies to Bird.

One aspect that makes this novel unique is that it is told from Miranda's point of view in the past tense. In some ways, I really liked this change of pace. B
Jan 15, 2011 Christina rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Grades 4 to 6
Shelves: children-fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lisa Rathbun
Dec 14, 2014 Lisa Rathbun rated it did not like it
The premise was intriguing and the setting was impressive, but the plot was slow, explanation was missing, and the climax unclimactic. There was a lot of build up for pretty much nothing. Symbols abound: kites, boots that hold you down, a menacing house that's just not menacing enough, a secret room, keys, doors that lock themselves -- but the book just wasn't meaty enough to sustain the symbolism. I could see the old woman as a Mother Gothel type and the narrator as a sort of Rapunzel, and the ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jasmine Rose
Bird was a whimsical read. I wouldn’t quite call it cute because at times it almost seemed tragically sad, but in a way that younger kids can still read and appreciate.

I would almost say that Bird would be better appreciated by an older audience than seems to be the target. Not older than myself, of course, but it seems to be marketed as middle grade and I don’t think a 12-year-old would really appreciate the story. Most would probably be bored by it, actually. I’m really not trying to talk down
Afnan Aldimasi
Feb 13, 2013 Afnan Aldimasi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
This is one of the novels that allowed me to forget the world of my own and live the story being read. I love every page and wish it never had to end.

It tells of a girl so light in weight and so young that she was carried by wind away from her home. A widow finds her, keeps her, gives her a new name, makes her wear heavy boots in order not to fly away, and teaches her to obey and take care of her!
The girl finds out many secrets in this manor which helps her find her passion and go for it.

A nove
Laura Morrigan
A beautiful short tale about a girl who is blown about by the wind. She is 'rescued' by an old woman who lives in a big house on a hill, who makes her a pair of shoes so heavy she cannot float away, and sets her to work fixing fishing nets. Although she sees the old woman as her saviour, she eventually comes to realise that she may, in fact be more of a prisoner. The secret of the hidden room and a young man may be enough to show her the magic within...

I loved this story. It was beautifully writ

Bird is a very simple book. It is bare of complex metaphors or purple prose, and the symbolism is basic and very easy to understand. It was like reading a children's book.

But, in the best way possible. It drew back memories of being a child, of wishing I could fashion wings out of my scarves and glide off my roof. Rita Murphy struck just the right note, and it rang clear. I slipped into the mind of Miranda with ease, and I shared her experience of breaking her chain, her tethers, and soaring aw
A girl so tiny and light that the wind can blow her away is deposited outside a New England manor house by a storm. There, she's given a name - Miranda - and a set of weighted boots to ensure that she does not get carried away again. Bird is as small and delicate as its protagonist. It's a book with a lovely, whimsical premise - mixed with more than a touch of creep factor - which unfortunately doesn't quite live up to itself.

The premise is solid; the images throughout are lovely; the central my
Apr 30, 2014 Jessica rated it it was ok
I was at the library yesterday and I had decided it was best to find some light reading (pun totally intended). I saw this one and first noticed its size. Then the excerpt on the back ("Fear is a strange thing. It can creep unnoticed into your mind, seize hold of your reason and take root") was very intriguing. And the cover art? Ridiculously beautiful.

I'm not dissatisfied with this, but I don't feel as though this story was pushed as far as it could have been. It's a fantastic concept and the
Kim Busby
This book took me awhile to complete despite being only 159 pages. I was confused a lot of the time during the book and had to reread chapters over and over to get a grasp on what they were asking about. I worked hard to understand the concept of this unique and strange book and this is what I got out of it: A tiny girl that is blew around by the wind gets blown to a manor of a mean woman named Wysteria. Wysteria makes her metal boots so that she cannot blow away and forces her to mend fisher me ...more
Dec 25, 2014 Karen rated it it was ok
Granted Night Flying, one of my all time favorite books, is a very tough act to follow but I had high hopes for Bird: flying, a quirky house, rural setting. This book was okay, not great but certainly an easy and adequate read. It is very light on plot and details but still contains nice prose. So much was vague, the era it takes place, the imagery. one part that really confused me is that the banks of lake Champlain were refereed to as "the sea" and there was sand to be played in and outcroppin ...more
Jun 20, 2015 Tara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Every person on Earth (and anyone not on Earth too)
Shelves: childhood
This book is so good!!! I didn't realize the effect that it had on me originally, but when I read it again, I realized how close it was to my heart. Everyone should read this, young, old, bookworm or not, it is such good writing and an amazing story!
Elsie K.
Aug 10, 2016 Elsie K. rated it it was amazing
I LOVED this book. Picked it up at a dollar book bag sale because I was in love with the cover. It's a perfect afternoon read I read almost the whole thing in one day and it made me cry. It's a very solid book that has a great voice and style to it, I would %100 recommend to anyone.
Aug 31, 2016 Emily rated it really liked it
This book was an amazing, detailed, and well written. Rita Murphy's use of diction and sensory details was very well thought out. It was on the verge of being an all "real book", but she included certain twists that changed the reality just a bit to make it more fantasy-like. I feel like even though she didn't include many 'main' characters in the book (technically only four, along with the side characters), she somehow made it work out; not adding unneeded and excessive dialogue and actions, s ...more
Oct 12, 2016 Adriana rated it it was amazing

This book is great, it's the first Rita Murphy i've read and i love it. Murphy is such a good writer, just the way she writes her style of writing is so entertaining. I like how she has all the characters kinda dark and almost like depressed, then there's Farley that lightness up the whole book. He is a great little spark for the down and dark book.

When i was reading the book i was a little confused you could say. Why did it take her so long to leave the house? Why does Wisteria (her guardian)
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The daughter of a pianist and an English teacher, she grew up surrounded by stories, rhythm and the creative process. After her son was born in 1992, she discovered her love of storytelling and began writing short stories. In 1999, her first novel, Night Flying won the Delacorte Press Prize at Random House Children's Books, was voted one of the Best Books for Young Adults by The American Library A ...more
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“It is not real," he whispered. "This place is only a thought that has grabbed hold of you. It cannot harm you. You are not of this place, and it has no power over you. You do not need it, nor do you owe it your allegiance." I nodded, listening only to his words and not to the rattling of the windows, which had begun as soon as we stepped inside.” 7 likes
“We built a perfect little cottage out of sand with the help of Farley's tin and the rusting bucket, and some lichen we peeled from rocks for window-box flowers. We left it there all day, and when the tide came up, the waves refused to disturb it, only lapping away at the foundation enough to cement it more firmly to the beach.” 2 likes
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