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Blue Heron

3.60  ·  Rating Details  ·  612 Ratings  ·  40 Reviews
Maggie, almost 13, is visiting her father, his young wife, and their new baby during her summer vacation. At the lake near their rented cottage, Maggie observes a great blue heron. She identifies with the solitary bird, then makes the startling discovery that someone is trying to kill it. While grappling with this mystery, she must also deal with strange new conflicts in h ...more
Hardcover, 186 pages
Published April 1st 1992 by Bradbury Press (first published 1992)
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A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson BurnettMadeline by Ludwig BemelmansWhen Heaven and Earth Changed Places by Le Ly HayslipGo Set a Watchman by Harper LeeJane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
Girl Power!
109th out of 173 books — 9 voters
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Books with birds in the title
362nd out of 635 books — 161 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 978)
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Julie Barrett
Apr 29, 2016 Julie Barrett rated it really liked it
Blue Heron by Avi
Have read other author's works and have enjoyed them all. This one is about Maggie and they are spending time at the shore and she has a new sister.
Magic and her father, she believes in all. Her mother gave her a crystal that is pure magic in her pocket. She travels to visit her father and step mother from Seattle all the way to MA. The shore will have much magic.
Very familiar to the area as we live nearby. It's interesting how the descriptions are so detailed-we tend to take th
Feb 11, 2016 Katie added it
Shelves: goodreads-1-10
This book was about a young girl who has divorced parents. Her mother sent her to visit her father for a month to enjoy a vacation with her new step mother and brand new half sister. The story is about Maggie who is enchanted by magic. She is always looking for ways that her life can be magical especially to stop change from happening. While on this vacation she is enchanted by a blue heron feels that it has a special kind of magic. This kind of magic she wants to learn especially as she is cont ...more
Audra (Unabridged Chick)
I don't remember much about this book except it had a strong melancholy feel to it. Perhaps my least favorite Avi book, but I suspect it had some strong messages that intimidated me.
Aug 20, 2014 Donielle rated it liked it
Shelves: youth-books
Dealing with a broken family, surviving by seeing the world through her little bit of crystal, learning that love doesn't always feel good. I didn't know what I thought of this book until the very last sentence. It was poignant and simple, and it tore my heart apart. Maggie's confusion as to her role in her newly-formed family is a great example of what divorce and remarriage can do to a child's mind and heart. Her father's actions are sad: the desperate clawing of a man who doesn't believe in l ...more
Aug 18, 2014 Kathy rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s, y-a
Well, it has charming moments and some times of discomfort indeed. I disliked the father in this book very very much, but our main character is endearing enough, and the descriptions of the wild area around the summerhouse, and the encounters with the heron (and with Tucker) are very fine indeed. It's of the grim reality school of writing, though I think Avi has a bit of fun (in a mean way) with it, given that his heroine gets through life by framing things in terms of magic.

A book with a bit mo
May 12, 2015 Kristen rated it really liked it
Fifth grade +.

Maggie is spending part of her summer with her father, step-mother, and new baby step-sister. Uneasy with this new family, she meets a boy her own age. Yet, dealing with his strange ways and the tensions in her family drive Maggie outdoors to find peace. She spends time watching a beautiful heron, and she seems to find strength from her observations.

A tremendously touching book, especially for young girls. Family issues and concerns, such as divorce, custody, heart attacks, etc., a
Jan 16, 2012 Caryn rated it really liked it
Shelves: engl-420
Twelve year-old Maggie is uncertain what the future will hold as she arrives in New England for another August with her father, stepmother, and new half-sister Linda. Worries that her baby sister will replace her dissolve quickly, however, as Maggie discovers that her father is hiding health issues and his relationship with Joanna, her stepmother, has grown strained. Maggie's only peace comes early in the morning as she walks to the edge of the lake near their summer rental and watches a great b ...more
May 20, 2013 Gale rated it liked it

Although this book seems thick compared with other YA novels, these 186 pages read easily, thanks to extensive dialogue. Soon-to-be 13 Maggie feels like a "summer hostage" while visiting her father--a court-ordered social ritual which produces recurring mental anguish ever since her parents divorced when she was six. Clinging to her childhood memories of a game of Magic shared by her dad, Maggie dreads this visit to a rented cabin on a remote lake in Connecticut. There she wil
Emily Crow
Oct 23, 2013 Emily Crow rated it liked it
This novel focuses on the summer that Maggie spends with her father, stepmother Joanna, and their new baby at a cabin by a lake in Rhode Island. Maggie is an imaginative girl who wishes she could use magic to make everything stay the same. Instead, she walks into a tense situation--her father is not taking his heart medication and quarreling with everyone, and Joanna is stressed out about her marriage and new motherhood and appealing to Maggie for help.

Maggie finds some escape by watching a grea
Heather Miller
Jun 29, 2014 Heather Miller rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
I remember when I was in fourth grade finding this book in the library. I read it and re- read it throughout my childhood. It was magical to me to have any freedom to roam and find a secret place. I wasn't old enough to have my own. i won't go into the even more personally reasons i had for loving this book. But i can thank it for jump starting my love of birds It's been years since I read it, but it will always have a place in my heart.
Jul 29, 2012 Athena rated it did not like it
Shelves: books-i-own
I had a difficult time trying to connect with any of the characters because they were under-developed. I especially foundd Joanna to be very annoying with her neediness, dumping her emotional baggage on Maggie, and even sticking Maggie in the middle of her relationship with Maggie's father.

So many relationships bloomed in this short book: Maggie and Joanna and then Tucker. I didn't really see the point of Tucker, except to pose a threat to the heron that Maggie adored, only to meet her once and
Logan Truesdell
Aug 16, 2014 Logan Truesdell rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful book about a girl and the love that she has for a great blue heron. She goes through so many hardsgips but gains a friend in the process. I would definitely read this again in a heart beat! I loved it. If you like books like A Wrinkle in Time, i can almost guarente that you'll like this book.
Apr 19, 2016 Megan rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite childhood books. Difficult read about a young woman going through her parent's divorce, moving, and beginning again in a place with serenity and peace.
Laurie D'ghent
This is not normally the type of book I read, but I loved Avi's Crispin, so I decided to give it a shot.

Still not the kind of book I like to read.

Kathie Jackson
Jul 09, 2013 Kathie Jackson rated it really liked it
Once again, Avi blows me away. He's written like, what? 300 books? And each is exquisitely written and stands on its own, and is just as enjoyable for adults as it is for younger readers. In Blue Heron, Avi utterly captures a 13-year old girl's inner voice. This slim volume packs in a ton of character development, realistic dialog and situations, and family drama. As in life, no one is all bad or all good and you'll be torn about who to root for throughout. I also really enjoyed the aspects of n ...more
Jun 22, 2009 Sierra rated it it was amazing
This is like an awesome book. It put all of my friends' lifes into one and almost gave me the thing i needed. I always end up reading books that are perfect for the time. So if your parents are divorced, your father has heart problems, you feel like your mom tells you everything, or u hate secrets, READ IT!!!!!!!!! ANYONE SHOULD READ IT BUT ESPECIALLY IF U CAN CONNECT WITH IT!!!!! I actually had a dream about the boy in the marsh......he's so cute!!! PLEASE *begs on knees* PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE P ...more
Jan 17, 2016 Elise rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Okay... More adult than I remember, bigger topics. Kind of open ended ending.
Sep 05, 2008 Art rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone
A good look at our environment from the point of view of a young girl coming of age and visiting w/Her father and new wife.
I would put this book alongside "The Lorax" and Rachel Carson, "Silent Spring".
Also "The Snow Falcon" and the one about the girl/boy w/lived and was helped by a Badger.
I have seen Whooping Cranes in the ponds near my home hear in Kentucky and I remember the loons in Minnesota. A very lonely sound made by these creatures.
Also the young lady and how she learned to cooperate w
Apr 05, 2012 Jaden rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Blue Heron is about a 13 year old girl named Maggie she is visiting her dad for a few weeks at his summer house on a lake. When Maggie first arrived she ran to her father and gave him a big hug. He brought her to the edge of the lake she spotted a giant bird and her father told her that it is called a heron and that it live behind the house in the marsh. Every morning Maggie secretly went to the marsh to watch the heron.

I really liked the book. I would recomend it to anyone. I give it a 7 out o
Dec 10, 2013 Maria rated it really liked it
In Blue Heron, Avi takes a younger reader through the emotional landscape of a family split by divorce and an expanse of land. The protagonist herself has split loyalties and begins to see the realities of life in this "coming-of-age" work. Poignant, compelling, and personally tragic, Blue Heron leaves even the adult reader with a sense of the realities of imperfect parenting. The main character leaves the story emotionally more mature yet aware of the magical impact of nature on her young heart ...more
Mellow Yellow
Oct 25, 2012 Mellow Yellow rated it it was amazing
This is a amazing book! You will not want to put it down. It's about a girl name Maggie she is turning 13 she realizes tha magic is all around her and she needs to everything in her power to save it. At first you might think it's a little boring but once you get into it you will want to read it again and again. I recommend this book to people who love a good mysteri.I don't recommend this if your sensitive because its a big twist at the end so read this know!
Jun 04, 2013 Aubrey rated it it was amazing
Shelves: finished-books
The Blue Heron was an excellent book. Heart-wrenching and creates constant suspense through out the book. I loved this book, I'm more into the YA genre, but I have to say this book was amazing! I also had a nice cry at the end. I would recommend this to anyone and everyone. No one can hate this book it is truly amazingly written and so heart felt. I'm glad I finally read this book.
Mar 25, 2012 Christy rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade, popular
As Maggie approaches her thirteenth birthday, she wants to believe that some kind of magic can stop the changes all around her. Her visit with her father and his new family at a lakeside cabin makes her wonder. Will he still love her as much, now that he has a new family, or will he love her baby half-sister more? Her father seems troubled and with

Blue Heron is a wonderful coming of age story by master children's author Avi. I love the realism and the emotional flair Avi adds to a story that is simple yet multifaceted. It touches on subjects like friendship, divorce, independence, courage, and unconditional love. It's wonderful! Four stars because I wish it could have been longer.
Oct 27, 2010 J rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
so, in going through some of my stuff that's been packed away for a while, i came across this book. i think it's supposed to be some sort of coming-of-age thing with this majestic wild bird, but it was pretty much crap. i don't know why this avi guy is so popular. i definitely hate his stuff.
Jan 22, 2011 Emily rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
Avi has always been one of my favorite (besides L'Engle) and most memorable writers growing up. I enjoy the style and flow of simple words woven into an exciting adventurous tale or a sad, torn, and enlightening tale of self worth and discovery.
Apr 16, 2016 Judy rated it it was ok
This story didn't pull together for me. It felt more like an idea that wasn't fully developed. Making the blue heron a central character in the book really appealed to me.
Jul 26, 2010 Aven rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
It's been a while since I've read this book. Seems like I didnt like it when I read it. Can't remember what the book was about though. Guess it didn't make an impression on me.
Jun 08, 2013 Tasia rated it liked it
I vaguely remember liking this book when I read it years ago. Maybe I'll reread it later for old time's sake.
...makes me sound so old, jeez.
Ashley Lavering
Mar 27, 2009 Ashley Lavering rated it liked it
Growing up..this was the book I attached too. I read it again as an adult and can see why I liked it so much before. It is a good book.
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Avi is a pen name for Edward Irving Wortis, but he says, "The fact is, Avi is the only name I use." Born in 1937, Avi has created many fictional favorites such as The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, Nothing but the Truth, and the Crispin series. His work is popular among readers young and old.
More about Avi...

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