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The Amazing Life of Birds: The Twenty-Day Puberty Journal of Duane Homer Leech
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The Amazing Life of Birds: The Twenty-Day Puberty Journal of Duane Homer Leech (Tales to Tickle the Funnybone #6)

3.50  ·  Rating Details  ·  179 Ratings  ·  49 Reviews
Zit monster.

Puberty Werewolf.

Potty Boy.

Doo Doo Rules!

I’m Duane. Duane Homer Leech. Don’t ask.

I’m 12. And one week. What I want to know is, where is this whole puberty thing going? So far it’s just something put on earth to destroy me.

And I don’t have a clue what’s coming next.
Hardcover, 96 pages
Published June 13th 2006 by Wendy Lamb Books
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Mildly funny book about a teenager with a very unfortunate name dealing with onset puberty. I feel like it's a book that adults can look back on and laugh, but I don't know that it will really speak to boys going through it. It's not like the book is about something else and that comes up. It's his journal of embarrassing moments, zits, falling all over himself in front of girls, commiserating with his best friend, clumsiness and basic mortification over his brain and body betraying him at every ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 05, 2016 Jamie rated it it was ok
Maybe I'm wrong, but I can think of few 12-year old boys who would read a book with both the word "bird" and "puberty" in the title.
Colin H
I think that this was a good book.It keep me interested and wondering what would happen next.I don’t like reading but this was a good book for ages 12-14.I picked this book because it looked interesting and it was also by Gary Paulson. I do think that it is for a little more mature people because it is about puberty and things like that.I really like how it tells the story of 2 things in the world that are going through changes.With the changes between the boy and the bird I think it is a cool t ...more
Jan 22, 2011 Sherry rated it it was amazing
Paulsen makes it look effortless to write of a young boy's rapid ascension into the awesome and terrifying swells of the hormonal tide. It cannot be so. Using humour and metaphor, he captures the essence of puberty in all it's gawky and uncertain glory - adult readers will get a kick out of reminiscing. Will teen readers also appreciate it's honesty, and take heart from the courage Duane finally musters? Most likely, and it's definitely a gem for those who have flown the nest.
Mildly funny book about a teenager with a very unfortunate name dealing with onset puberty. I feel like it's a book that adults can look back on and laugh, but I don't know that it will really speak to boys going through it. It's not like the book is about something else and that comes up. It's his journal of embarrassing moments, zits, falling all over himself in front of girls, commiserating with his best friend, clumsiness and basic mortification over his brain and body betraying him at every ...more
Jul 06, 2012 Ruth rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Paulsen is only slightly out of touch with the true preteen voice here, but flashes of comedic genius more than make up for that slight detraction. As readers would expect with a book of this type, irreverencies abound; however, the inappropriateness is somewhat modified by Paulsen's clever use of innocent-sounding metaphors. (ELBOW.)
Dee Price
Duane Home Leech is a 12 year old boy entering puberty. Branded with the nickname of "Doo Doo", he encounters daily unfortunate mishaps from imagining female body parts everywhere to spilling food all over a girl he has a crush on. Paulsen takes a look at an awkward stage in every boy's life and addresses the struggles of growing up and fitting in -in a very humorous manner.

I loved this book. It was a fast-paced and engaging tale that keeps the reader entertained as we can't wait to see what co
Jun 14, 2010 Rachel rated it it was amazing
Shelves: english-420
I absolutely loved this book! It was funny, but also real. The story follows a boy who is 12 years and one week old. He is just starting to go through puberty and it is somewhat of a nightmare for him (but he tells it in such a funny way!).

He starts to worry about how he looks to girls. He has a cowlick in the back of his head, so he decides to cut it off because hair spray won't keep it down. Right as he is cutting, his older sister yells at him, startling him into cutting a small bald spot in
Cat Conner
I was pretty hesitant to read a Gary Paulsen book before I picked up "The Amazing Life of Birds", but I found Paulsen to be a creative and witty writer and quite enjoyable to read. This book details the pubescent crisis of Duane, a twelve year-old. Once Duane starts to notice the signs of his puberty, his whole world seems to come crashing down. His little mistakes in class turn into school-wide scandals. With few allies, Duane has to work through the trials of early puberty, including his rapid ...more
Nov 09, 2010 Daniel rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for

As a Gary Paulsen fan, I'm always on the lookout for his latest. When I found this slim volume, I at first thought I'd share it with the sixth or seventh grade teachers in my building. But then I read it, and I'll be honest, when I find one this good, I don't share. I'm really glad I kept it to myself because my 8th-grade students loved it.

Duane Homer Leech is twelve and suffers from the onset of puberty. Here are a few tidbits to
Dec 10, 2013 Jayne rated it liked it
Shelves: english-420

Duane. I feel your pain. Sometimes I feel like I'm going to turn into a zit too. I'm sorry that it doesn't go away with puberty. We can be zit monsters together. The Amazing Life of Birds does exactly what the rest of the title depicts. It follows the 20 day puberty journal of Duane Homer Leech. This book was surprisingly engaging. While I've never had the experiences of a 12 year old boy going through puberty, I feel as though I have a much better idea of what that would be
May 29, 2010 kyliemm rated it liked it
Shelves: ya-lit-class
This was a young adult semi-realist humorous fiction novel targeted at young teenage boys. I'm still pretty confused about why this book was marketed to teenagers, since the protagonist was a 12-year-old boy going through puberty; I personally would thus have marketed it to 12-year-old boys, not 13+-year-old boys, except for those who were going through puberty really late. The book was the diary of a boy which the unfortunate name of Duane Homer Leech and who is going through puberty and has no ...more
Saleena Davidson
Feb 05, 2014 Saleena Davidson rated it really liked it
Duane Homer Leech is a horrible name, as he himself admits. It is especially horrible when you also inadvertently end up with the nickname of "Doo-Doo" This quick read is in diary format and is in first person. Paulsen introduces the awkwardness of puberty with truly LOL moments. This is a great read for either gender, but should find resonance especially with young boys.
Apr 27, 2011 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
Poor Duane Homer Leech. Not only was he saddled with a dweeb-y name, but he just got hit with puberty. Now he sees girls body parts everywhere, zits are popping up all over his body, and he can't seem to keep from tripping. Oh, and every time he tries to talk to Amber or Rachel he either can't get a word out or he can't stop them from coming.
This was a very funny take on puberty. I picked up the book to put in a boys display in the library and blew through it in about an hour, laughing most of
Jun 30, 2010 Kit rated it really liked it
It's not Hatchet!

OK, I know there are people who like Hatchet, but I was thrilled when I realized a couple of years ago that Gary Paulsen also writes books in which the protagonist isn't in immediate danger of freezing or starving to death. This book is slim, but it's the perfect length to chronicle the hilarious experiences of pre-teen Duane (preferred nickname: Duey; actual nickname: Doodoo). He trips; he spills stuff; his hair won't do anything he wants it to. It's a schadenfreude fest for an
Sep 19, 2011 Ashleync rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: english-420
This book was hilarious. The only other book that I have read by Gary Paulsen is Hatchet which is a lot more serious than this book. Paulsen takes an awkward stage in a young mans life and pulls put the humor to lighten up such an uncomfortable subject. While i am not a boy and therefore have not been on this side of pubescence before and I think Paulsen captures the feeling of changing, fitting in, and growing up. The Amazing Life of Birds chronicles the pubescent changes of a young Duane Homer ...more
Sep 16, 2014 Tory rated it liked it
simply written, honestly (but not gratuitously so) straightforward: a boy entering puberty, paralleled by the development of the bird outside his window. an easier reading level than sherman alexie's part-time indian, with some of the human development (physical, emotional, relational), but absent the themes of race.
Apr 08, 2014 Kedron rated it really liked it
Was a really good book and I enjoyed reading it. Sometimes it got a little confusing and weird but otherwise a great thing to read.
Dec 09, 2009 Rebecca rated it liked it
Genres/Categories: puberty, humor

The title says it all. This book is a hilarious journal about Duane's awful experiences when he first begins going through puberty. He begins to get pimples and think that girls aren't the most awful thing on earth. Luckily he has a friend he can confide in, even though he can't confide in his family about how awful his life is. This book is funny to people of all ages, but I found it to be especially hilarious because of the dramatic irony surrounding puberty. D
Sep 18, 2010 Megan rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
A minor work by a pretty major author. I was hoping for more from this--something to give to about-to-be-adolescent boys other than Then Again, Maybe I Won't. Instead, the aspects of puberty that this book focuses on are entirely pimples and poor coordination, with some glossed-over "I think about girls" sentences here and there.

Note to authors: read Judy Blume. Understand how helpful she is for girls, in her frank handling of periods, physical development, and even masturbation, without soundi
Feb 05, 2016 Klyon rated it really liked it
Thought it was hilarious. Middle school appropriate?
Kevin Koon
Duane is a normal kid and is going through puberty.His sister, Karen likes to get him in trouble and like to make fun of him. His parents understand what Duane is going through and deeply care about him. Duane's biggest problem during puberty are the zits. He gains a lot of zits and puts band-aids on them. He has had many incidents at school such as hiting a girl by accident with a volleyball and stabbing her with his hair. Duane is embarrased, but is ready to redeem himself.
Sep 10, 2007 Lara rated it really liked it
Shelves: teenreads
Gary Paulsen's dedication sums it up: "To my son, James, in gratitude. Having missed my own puberty, because I lived through it, watching you go through yours provided a wealth of research material. Thank you." A brief twenty days in the life of puberty-stricken Duane. Funny, poignant and quite informative - not having grown up with any brothers, this was a bit of an eye-opener!
Jul 02, 2009 Andrew rated it really liked it
It should be stated that I kind of hate Gary Paulsen. They (you know "Them") made me read a couple of books by him and frankly survivalist lit (sans humor) really isn't my thing. This is a survivalist book in a sense, but not about the wilderness, it's about puberty. And it's a stitch. See, that humor thing helps. I will force my nephew to read this.
Hilarious, touching and morbidly fascinating, this book is sure to bring relief to boys suffering the injustice of puberty, and insight to the girls who can't seem to figure the boys out. I couldn't help laughing hysterically at poor Duane's plight, even while knowing that, whatever doesn't kill him will only make him stronger.
Jennifer Mackinday
Sep 16, 2009 Jennifer Mackinday rated it it was amazing
Classic Gary Paulsen, this short young adult novelette takes readers on the fast-paced, rocky road journey called puberty. Written as a journal, Paulsen reminds us all that being a teenager is pretty sour, but with some effort you can make lemonade out of lemons. Excellent read for kids and parents alike.
Jan 02, 2009 Pam rated it it was ok
I generally love Gary Paulsen's books. However, I have to say that I was disappointed with this one. It made puberty seem like it revolved solely around being clumsy, having pimples, and not being able to talk to girls. It seemed a bit confusing to me, and I felt its ending was weak as well.
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Although he was never a dedicated student, Paulsen developed a passion for reading at an early age. After a librarian gave him a book to read--along with his own library card--he was hooked. He began spending hours alone in the basement of his apartment building, reading one book after another.

Running away from home at the age of 14 and traveling with a carnival, Paulsen acquired a taste for adve
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