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The Ever-After Bird

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  406 Ratings  ·  68 Reviews
Now that her father is dead, CeCe McGill is left to wonder why he risked his life for the ragged slaves who came to their door in the dead of night. When her uncle, an ornithologist, insists she accompany him to Georgia on an expedition in search of the rare scarlet ibis, CeCe is surprised to learn there's a second reason for their journey: Along the way, Uncle Alex secret ...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published November 1st 2007 by HMH Books for Young Readers
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~ Cheryl ~
Jul 09, 2016 rated it really liked it

This book is categorized as “children’s literature.” On the back of my copy, it says: Ages 10 and up. Personally, I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone under 12. My daughter read the book last year (at age 11); thoroughly enjoyed it, and then told me I ought to read it. She is on the mature side for her age, but as I read it, I was kind of horrified that she’d had to digest the difficult subject matter.

According to the author’s note, Rinaldi says many of the cruel scenes of slavery are “taken from
Anne Osterlund
Jun 11, 2011 rated it liked it
CeCe doesn’t believe in the Underground Railroad. It was her father’s passion, and he didn’t love her. He told her she had no soul.

When he dies, Uncle Alex arrives and challenges CeCe to a journey in the South. In search of the Ever-After Bird.

She agrees, but she has no intention of helping her uncle with his larger mission—that of giving the slaves on the plantations directions to find their way north.

The question is . . . who is more stubborn? CeCe or her uncle?

And will the journey prove Papa
Kimberly Austin
Jun 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
I was amazed at how I got into this book. The story takes place in the south during pre-civil war time. CeCe and her abolitionist/ornithologist uncle set on a journey from Ohio to find, study, and paint the Ever After Bird (which is symbol to the slaves that freedom will soon be theirs'). Along the way CeCe discovers herself and comes to understand all the harsh and cruel lives the slaves live. In the end she defends her uncle's assistant who is a free black woman and she ends up getting whipped ...more
Laura Black
Jul 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is the best and yet weirdest book Rinaldi has ever written. CeCe McGill's father dies and her uncle comes to claim her as his ward. He's a doctor and an artist that paints birds. He takes ceCe with him, along with a freed young African American woman named Earnestine. They travel through Georgia, looking for a rare species of heron called the Ever-After Bird. Along the way her uncle tells slaves how to find the Underground Railroad and use stars to navigate their way to freedom. But it wasn ...more
Megan Billick
Jun 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I thought it was a neat story about the life of CeCe, how she transforms from a young girl who doesn't know much about slavery and abolitionism because her father never let her in to his life, to then suddenly losing her father and being thrust into a life she'd never experienced with her uncle Alex who suddenly asked for her opinion and valued what she had to say. She grew into a wonderful young woman because of it and it was fun to watch her grow throughout the story.
Dawn Laws
Jun 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book is about slavery and the underground railroad. CeCe is that main character that must live with her uncle due to her father's death. They travel with an assistant that was once a slave to teach other slaves how to get free.

I gave the book 4/5 because it has a good story line and insight into slavery and the underground railroad. The ending of the book seems as though it was rushed to end.
Mar 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
It has become clear that Ann's best relationships are older male mentor to a young {usually early teen} girl - either a sister or a ward. She's a past master at creating literary crushes {I find one in nearly every book} and her writing just can't be matched. She's SO creative with her words, her dialogue is never dull, her plots are solid, her premises intriguing, her research exhaustive.

Thus she creates CeCe.

To be honest, I didn't really notice the plot. It escalated gradually and came t
Joshua D Lambert
Mar 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Another great work by Rinaldi! This story, especially, paints a very vivid picture of life in the south pre-Civil War era. Well written as always!
Cindy Norris
Oct 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Young girl travels in the south with her abolitionist uncle while he paints pictures of birds. Interesting story about a young girl awakening to the horrors of slavery.
May 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Andria Davis
May 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is set in the 1800's and is a story about a little girl that goes on a trip with her uncle through the south so he can hunt for a certain bird, however, when they are traveling, she learns her uncle is also an abolitionist and is using his trip as a cover to help slaves learn how to escape and to offer them resources they need to get away from their plantations.

I enjoyed this book even though, at times, it was emotionally hard to read. I learned a lot about what slaves went through dur
Jan 31, 2017 rated it it was ok
I'm usually a big Ann Rinaldi fan because of the way she grounds her stories in interesting historical moments (without getting caught up in minute details that slow down the plot), along with the nuanced characters--both male and female--that she creates. She's fantastic at making characters who have realistic flaws and face truly challenging dilemmas instead of making her heroines into idealized types: a major temptation for YA lit. The beginning of The Ever-After Bird had a lot of promise for ...more
Nov 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
Cover Blurb: At least it doesn’t look dated. I like it well enough, and all the hints about the story it has. Still not my favorite cover out of all her books, though.

What I Liked: One thing I always love about this Author’s books is she can begin a story with a somewhat unlikable protagonist, and by the end of the story, you love her. CeCe is, at first, rather bratty and not the world’s most lovable girl. But as the story progressed, I really began to like her. I liked her more than Earline, wh
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for

If he hadn't been determined to help runaway slaves, he would still be alive. That's why CeCe McGill hates abolitionists. Her father devoted his life and their home to giving aid as part of the Underground Railroad, but it was also what ended his own life when he was shot. His death left CeCe an orphan.

When CeCe's uncle, a doctor and an artist, arrives after her father's death, she is nervous about leaving the only home she's ever k
Linda Lipko
Mar 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recently, after reading so many books re. the holocaust, I began to point fingers at the Germans, wondering just what kind of culture perpetrated such egregious violence against those whom they deemed less worth.

Then, I was snapped back to reality that cruelty and vile inhumanity isn't reserved merely for the Nazis. In fact, as I'm well aware, our country has a nasty, ugly history of barbarism.

My most recent read is one I highly recommend for many reasons, primarily because of the simple yet com
I think this read is my favorite of those Rinaldi books I've read to date. The central characters, CeCe, her uncle, and Earline are drawn out just enough to create interest in the characters, while the supporting actors are not as well developed. Still, thinking over these three characters after having finished the book says something about the complex and compelling nature of their depictions.

I was fascinated with Earline as soon as I learned she'd had to swim to freedom. Earline, a slave and c
Sep 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Found this book at the library while searching for something for my 12 and 13-year-olds to read and it looked intriguing. They weren't particularly interested but I was! And I really liked it! I guess this is categorized as children's literature but it was pretty intensely filled with slavery and all the injustice that entails. Set with that though, were some fairly palpable characters and her uncle was a redeeming man to be sure. Well done.
Ever-After Bird 6th + YA
Rinaldi, Ann

CeCe McGill, recently orphaned, becomes the ward of her uncle, Dr. Alex McGill. She does not know her uncle or his wife, Aunt Elise, well. Uncle Alex, like CeCe’s father, is a staunch abolitionist. Cece is uncomfortable with abolitionist ideas, not so much because she disagrees with these ideas, but because her father lost his life because of these beliefs. Soon CeCe finds herself traveling from Ohio to Georgia with her uncle and his assistant, Earline as Uncl
 Tara ♪
Jun 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I thought that the book was really good. Ann Rinaldi always writes with great detail and researches phenomenally! The one thing that bugs me about her writing is that the character always does the right thing, unless it endangers her friends and family to do so. That does make the relatability factor go down a bit, i think. I've never read a book of hers where the character doesn't do the right thing even when they could have. Still, a very enjoyable book.

Earline was depicted as the villain for
Aug 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sarah Crawford
Jan 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The events of the book take place in 1851.

Ce Ce's , thirteen, parents are dead and she goes to live with her Uncle who paints birds. Her father was an abolitionist, but he was also a very cruel man and was a horrible father to Ce Ce. He's also against slavery, and he takes Ce Ce and a black girl who is studying under him with him to the South. Her Uncle visits plantations, using the cover of finding and painting birds for his real work, which is talking to slaves and showing them what path to ta
I was eager to read this novel as of I've read several other of Ann Rinaldi's works. It was an amazing book and I give it five stars. The plot, where the main character gets an inside look at slavery and has to decide her future, was great. I could barely put this down. I also loved that Rinaldi put so much information into it so that it was educational and interesting. For example, she described how a rice plantation was a lot different than a cotton plantation.In addition, this book had very ...more
CeCe is a fourteen year old girl who is an orphan and goes to live with her aunt and uncle in Ohio. Her father was an abolitionist and her uncle is as well. CeCe accompanies her uncle and former slave, Earline on a trip to the South in search of the the rare scarlet ibis. Her uncle is a doctor and ornithologist. While searching for the bird, Uncle Alex secretly tells slaves about the Underground Railroad and how to escape slavery. This book certainly does a good job of depicting the horrors of s ...more
Apr 23, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: historical fiction lovers
CeCe's father is killed for helping runaway slaves and she is sent to live with her uncle. Uncle Alex is a physician, an orninthologist and an abolitionist. He asks CeCe to accompany him South on a birding expedition, which is also a foil for helping slaves run away. Alex hopes that CeCe will begin to understand abolitionism and why slavery was wrong.

Ann Rinaldi is good at researching whatever topic she writes about, but sometimes her books have a hard time working for the intended audience. Thi
Jul 13, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-lit
I really like Ann Rinaldi books. She does such a great job with historical fiction, making it very palatable for young people.
This story takes place before the Civil War. Cece, a thirteen year-old girl, does not understand or care about the Abolitionist Movement.
When her father is murdered because of his Aboltionist views, Cece's world is turned around. She gets to travel through the South, to witness slavery firsthand.
Once again, Rinaldi does not write "down" to her young readers. This is a g
May 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
This books gives a good look into pre-Civil War plantation life in the South and the Underground Railroad. I always appreciate a book that can show history through an interesting fictitious plot. I recommend it for students who want to gain a greater understanding of slavery in the South, abolitionists, and the Underground Railroad. It could even be used for a little US geography. The book is recommended for ages 10+, but I thought there was some mature content in it, including a reference to ra ...more
I picked this book up on a whim while I was waiting for my son to finish up his library program and I started to read it and got caught up with it. I really did enjoy the book, I just wish the ending was a bit longer. I felt like the meat of the story was well written and developed but they needed to finish the book quickly so they just stopped and then as an after thought wrote a last chapter to try to finish the book and give the rest of the story of the characters. I would have liked it to be ...more
Jun 15, 2011 rated it liked it
I enjoy Rinaldi's books, generally. I really liked the premise of this particular story and Rinaldi is good at creating characters with depth and layers of personal conflict and motivations. However, the writing itself often seemed academic--almost too basic and often repetitive. Also, there were parts of the story that seemed out of place and gratuitous--the protagonist's interest in the heir to a plantation, for example.
May 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
I find the character of Earline to be frustrating, and I contemplated giving the book only three stars as I neared the end because of this. Then I read the author's note. I can appreciate Rinaldi's comment that Earline took on a life of her own and became one of those characters who does what she wants no matter what the author's intent is. This definitely explains why her actions don't match her history. An excellent YA book that delves into the complexities of slavery.
May 29, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
Written from the point of view of a 13-year-old white orphan girl, The Ever-After Bird is an interesting story of slavery in the 1850's in the United States. The focus of the story is the girl, her Uncle, a doctor and the painter of birds, and a young runaway slave woman. They travel through the deep South in search of a rare bird. Cecelia, the young girl, experiences the cruel and injustice institution of slavery firsthand.
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Ann Rinaldi (b. August 27, 1934, in New York City) is a young adult fiction author. She is best known for her historical fiction, including In My Father's House, The Last Silk Dress, An Acquaintance with Darkness, A Break with Charity, and Hang a Thousand Trees with Ribbons. She has written a total of forty novels, eight of which were listed as notable by the ALA. In 2000, Wolf by the Ears was lis ...more