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Catherine, Called Birdy by Karen Cushman
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U_50x66
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Feb 23, 10

bookshelves: historical-fiction-world-history, historical-fiction
Read in February, 2010

This is about a girl named Catherine, but her friends and family refer to her as Birdy. She is a strong-willed and determined 14-year-old girl who keeps a journal of her life in England in 1290. In her journal, birdy writes about her miserable life as a girl in England and how she must learn to be a proper lady and the duties of a wife (embroidery, remedies, cooking, sewing, etc.) when that is the last thing she wants to be and do,and all she wants is to run around outside and avoid being betrothed to any of the suitors that her father keeps bringing to their house. When Birdy finds out that she is betrothed to a less than desirable older suitor, "Shaggy Beard", she runs away only to discover that sheis who she is and no matter how horrible she thinks her situation is, she should always be herself, andshe should use that to her advantage when she is with her future husband. When she returns, Birdy is pleasantly surprised to discover that Shaggy Beard died in a brawl and that his son, Stephen, wants to honor the contract in his father's place. Things are looking up for Birdy, and she seems to accept things as they are and make the best of the situations that you are dealt.

I really liked this book. At first I thought it would be a little bit on the dull side because it is written completely in the form of Birdy's diary, but I got used to it right away. It was anything but dull. I found myself laughing out loud as Birdy was trying out swear words that would not let on that she was actually swearing. I could not help but sympathize with her. Who wouldn't want to be outside on a nice day instead of being inside and sewing and doing laundry? And who wants to be betrothed to someone who does not interest you? Birdy got herself into her fair share of trouble, but it was interesting to see how she managed to get out of it.

Newbery Honor Book
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