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3.84  ·  Rating details ·  5,564 ratings  ·  1,125 reviews
Twig lives in Sidwell, where people whisper that fairy tales are real. After all, her town is rumored to hide a monster. And two hundred years ago, a witch placed a curse on Twig’s family that was meant to last forever. But this summer, everything will change when the red moon rises. It’s time to break the spell.
Paperback, 208 pages
Published March 5th 2015 by Simon & Schuster UK
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Average rating 3.84  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,564 ratings  ·  1,125 reviews

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As my daughter and I finished our read-aloud of this book today, she gave me a sharp, meaningful look and said, “Be nice, Mom, when you review it.”

She knew my face had turned several shades of green during the last 4 chapters of this implausible and contrived middle grades novel.

I looked at her and said, “I'll give it whatever rating you choose, but you know I must be avenged somehow, for this waste of my time!”

She patted my arm and said, “I know, Mom. But, three stars for now, to be polite.”

Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
Alice Hoffman wrote one of my favorite stories.

I was hoping that magic would strike again.
This is not a bad book though. Just an okay read for me. Maybe I'm too old for the target audience. It is a mid-grade book so that could explain the choppy short sentences and the jumping around in the story line.
I just got bored, but then I'm fully aware that I'm a jaded reader.

The town of Sidwell believes in magic. Flying monster men that steal little things from the townspeople.

Legends abound in
Wendy Darling
This is a pleasant enough fable, but ultimately a rather slight one. While I liked the premise of the story (somewhat similar to another MG I read recently), I wonder if the author, who is a well-respected writer of adult fiction trying her hand at children's for the first time, underestimates her audience a bit. There are few surprises here, whether in plot or characterization or emotion--and if a book doesn't thrill you or inspire you or move you, that's a rather sad state of affairs.

I did en
Paula Soper
Nov 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya, tween, 2014
I think that I would follow Alice Hoffman to hell and back just to be able to read her books. Luckily, I only had to come to the NCTE conference to receive an ARC of this new book.

It's written for middle grades, which doesn't often work for me. But her books are sweet, loving, lovely, and magical. I'm gushing, aren't i?

I would recommend this book to anyone, especially a 12 year old girl, who believes (or wants to believe) in magic, friends, and family.

Warnings? Not a one. If a person doesn't be
Sometimes you just need a feel good book. And this is one of those books. This is my first Alice Hoffman book and not my last. But I realized and finally admitted something while reading this.....I love magical realism in books.

This is the story of Twig, her brother James, and the town of Sidwell. The family, specifically the men in the family, have been cursed. A long time, a witch placed a curse on the family that would follow many generations of the family. The men in the family are born with
Mansuriah Hassan
This is a slim novel aimed at younger readers (my estimate is that it suits readers around ages 8-14). Although adults like me should find much to enjoy too. It is about a young girl who is forbidden to make any friendships, as her mother is fearful of their secret getting out into the small community in which they live. Well... Read it, if you want to know about the secret.

What follows is a wonderful story about magic, curses, friendship and love. Beautifully written, light and engaging. The wr
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

I thought this book was soooooo good.

Twig and her brother James live with their mom. She owns an orchard that has pink apples.


She makes pies, pink cider, cupcakes etc. I want some of each at this moment right now! :)

Twig's mom left their dad, left the city and doesn't go out with anyone or have people over. Poor Twig doesn't have any friends either. You see years ago there was a curse put on Twig's family by a witch (Agnes Early) who's heart was broken by on
☆★Tinja★✮ A Court of Pizza and Laziness
This was mostly just sweet and innocent. I loved the writing, it has the same vibe as Practical Magic with the lush descriptions, I especially adored the ones about the pies and other sweets even though it had me drooling. BUT there wasn't any suspense at all despite of a curse AND a monster !? I was deeply disappointed over that.
Still I liked it quite a bit and the ending was great

3.3+ Stars 💜
Aug 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Lovely, delicious, mystical, tender coming-of age story by an author I’ve been wanting to read for a long time. I listened to the audible version with my children on a road trip, and given it’s target audience, the plot is somewhat simplistic, so I look forward to reading some of her more acclaimed adult novels.

'Nightbird' is the story of a lonely 12 year old girl who lives with her mother and her winged brother, a product of the "Fowler family curse." It is a story of friendships developed, fea
Mar 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
"For my readers who are searching for the same things I searched for, Nightbird is a book of hope, for the lonely, the friendless, the girl who is different, the boy who has secrets to keep. In it, magic can be found in unexpected places, right next door or scrawled on a piece of paper hidden in an old desk. It takes place in a summer when everything changes, when the moon is red, when friendships are forged, and when love can be found at your own front door."
~Alice Hoffman, Dear Readers

I couldn
Elyse  Walters
Jan 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Tender, masterfully portrayed, tons of heart....and a little bit of magic!

You'll fall in love with Twig, Twigs mom, James, Julia, Agnes, Miss Larch, Colin, Mr.Rose, and Flash (the owl), etc., and the wonderful storytelling!

Perfect enjoyable book for Middle school kids! I adored it! --(I'm 62 years old). My eyes got a little 'teary' a couple of times!

Its a joy to read an uplifting thoughtful book with inspired insights --remembering that sometimes 'dreams' really do come true.

Mar 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
It only took 5 months to read, lol! It wasn't because it was uninteresting but rather it takes a lot to coordinate a family reading with our busy schedules. My 10 year old daughter rated it a 5 and I rated it a 4. She says it was always keeping her interested and wanting to know what happens next. She was never bored. It's a great family read. I wish I had a copy of the authors book The Red Garden because there were some similarities between that story collection and this one. However, my memory ...more

Arc provided by Random House Children's through Netgalley

Release Date: March 10 th

First of all...I usually inhale Alice Hoffman's novels
I love her writing style. I am crazy about it.

Of course I normally read her adult fiction stories which have a whole different depth _ although I do love her YA story Green Heart _, that I felt was missing here.

I don't know if the middle grade audience will appreciate this novel: From time to time it has Alice Hoffman's trademark writing style _ which fo
Feb 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

In Sidwell, tales of a monster are being spread. Twig knows that there's no monster, only a curse that was placed upon her family two hundred years ago. Everything will change as Twig races to find the monster while protecting her family's secrets, and after one last summer, nothing will be the same again.

Nightbird is an enchanting story of friendship and family. Monsters and curses. I enjoyed reading this book and found that I coul
Mar 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I really enjoyed this book. It had very strong themes of friendship and familial love. The characters were all likable and while the rules the mother had in place were stifling, it was to protect her family.

Everything flowed well and the small town feel was cozy. It was a gentle read, with a touch of magic to it. Nothing too horribly scary.

I would recommend this for middle readers and above. 4 solid stars.

My thanks to NetGalley and Random House Children's for an eARC copy of this book to read a
Dov Zeller
This one felt formulaic. Everything one expects to happen in a YA novel happens in this one with a bit of forced feeding, like "here's your vitamins." It was cute I guess, and has pie, so it's hard to fully dislike. (Pie with vitamins.) But there were moments where I considered not finishing.
Jul 21, 2019 rated it really liked it

This might be the best middle grade book I have EVER read. I thoroughly enjoyed it and highly recommend!

There’s a wonderful balance of magic, family, mystery, history and friendships. Alice Hoffman is such a treasure!
Feb 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: scookie-reviews
Verdict: For a smooth Sunday afternoon.

The reason why I thought Sunday afternoon is because it’s a light and nice way to end your week before Monday comes and drags you from your bed. It’s a book that made me feel happy, and that’s not what I’m usually drawn to in a novel...

And isn’t it refreshing to read a story mainly about friendship and sibling love, rather than romance?

While it’s middle grade, I found it akin to Peace and Conflict by Irene Sabatini – a book anyone could enjoy. A child narra
Lisa B.
Mar 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
My Thoughts

Twig lives in Sidwell with her Mom and brother. Their family has a secret - a curse placed on the family many years ago that only effects the men. They’ve spent all their lives hiding this secret. What will happen when the truth finally comes out?

There are many different reasons that I look forward to reading a book. Perhaps it is next in line for a series I am enjoying. Maybe that much anticipated third book of a trilogy. Or another new story from a favorite author.

But what to think
Feb 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It tells such a lovely tale of love, friendship and trust. It is magical and heart-warming. Nightbird is like the less scary version of Neil Gaiman's Coraline. It is well written and I absolutely adore the characters in the story. Just imagine the Disney version of Harry Potter and Maximum Ride! Recommended for those who love magic, mystery, curious children and flying humans.
Sep 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
I have liked the other books I’ve read by Alice Hoffman, but it’s possible I bought this book because the back says “Fairy tales are real in Berkshire County.” The Berkshires in Massachusetts are a couple of hours from my home. They are magical: Tanglewood, Shakespeare & Co., Williamstown Theatre Festival, to list just a few places of surpassing beauty and, yes, magic.

In this enchanting MG novel 12 year old Twig is lonely, but she lets a new girl in, even after a girl from that family cursed he
Jul 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
I've always loved Alice Hoffman's work, particularly the magical element in her books. This one's a YA novel. I bought it knowing that, both to enjoy a Hoffman book that was a little lighter than some of her recent adult books, and to vet it as a book my 11-year-old granddaughter might like. It scored well on both counts. It is clever, easy to read, and intelligent. When I winced at how pat the ending was, I had to remind myself of its target audience.

My granddaughter will enjoy this. I've bough
May 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
I didn't know what to expect from this book as I'd read some variable and negative reviews. I was preparing myself to read something that might not live up to my expectations for a wonderful magical Alice Hoffman novel. I'm always open minded though and never judge a book by its cover or reviews. I was rewarded by a lovely magical read!
The book is about a girl named Twig, her family, life and a curse. Twig is living a complicated isolated life due to secrets that have to be kept. The story follo
Jan 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015, owned, contemporary
A quick and unexpectedly lovely book that i definetely recommend to anyone who loves a simple, magical tale about friendship and a little mystery ☆
Mar 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Wow. I don't know what I was expecting entirely, but I know that this book blew me away.

What I perhaps liked best of all was the tone with which this story was told. It's slow and dreamy like the summer days that Twig spends in the orchards. It's slow without being boring, the space is filled with absolutely beautiful prose. Hoffman describes everything in the scene from the clothes the characters wear, to the delicious pink apple pie that they eat, to the look of the sky at the present moment w
Melissa ♥ Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf
Middle Grade reads can be hit or miss for me, but having read and loved a couple of other books by Alice Hoffman I had confidence that she wouldn't let me down. (One of these days I really will read more of her.)

I'll lead with my sole criticism...the fact that it felt like Hoffman over simplified with this one due to her target audience. Middle Grade readers can handle a lot more depth than she gives them credit for with Nightbird...but with that said it was still an amazing piece of writing.

Feb 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2015
This is a lovely book and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. It's well written with excellent descriptions. The story is interesting and keeps you hooked, and the only fault I found was that there is one part at the end which is just a little too convenient.
The protagonist of the story is twelve but seems older and you mostly forget her age. And speaking of age, I really liked how many cross generational friendships there are in this book. I guess that comes from having it set in a small town but
Apr 22, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, middle-grade
This just doesn't work for me.

Her chosen subject material is a little dark and would be better suited to something that at least acknowledges that darkness instead of being sugary sweet. That's not to say that she shouldn't have a happy ending, etc, but none of the darker aspects really felt meaningful. And with those plot elements not feeling real, I mostly lost interest about 2/3 of the way through.

The intended Middle Grade audience would probably like it a bit better than me, but I think Hof
Theodora Goss
Dec 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I really loved this book. It's magical and imaginative, the perfect book to read when the world outside is being difficult. Yes it's a children's book, but I think many adults would love it! And the writing and imagery are beautiful, as one expects from Alice Hoffman. This is a book that made me happy. :)
Mareli Thalwitzer
May 15, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle
"My mother always said the only way for us to stay in Sidwell was to live in the corners of everyday life. Some things couldonly be foundin Sidwell: Pink apples, black owls and my brother James."
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Alice Hoffman is the author of more than thirty works of fiction, including The World That We Knew, The Rules of Magic, The Marriage of Opposites, Practical Magic, The Red Garden, the Oprah’s Book Club selection Here on Earth, The Museum of Extraordinary Things, and The Dovekeepers. Her most recent novel is The World That We Knew. She lives near Boston.

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