Catherine, Called Birdy
Catherine feels trapped. Her father is determined to marry her off to a rich man--any rich man, no matter how awful.
But by wit, trickery, and luck, Catherine manages to send several would-be husbands packing. Then a shaggy-bearded suitor from the north comes to call--by far the oldest, ugliest, most revolting suitor of them all.
I wish Cushman had created a protagonist who was both engaging to the reader and able to provide illumination of how much people have changed over time. That's the book I want for my kids. You know, if I w ...more
I first picked it up in 4th grade and started reading it for no particular reason, and I loved it so much I decided to read all of Karen Cushman's other books as well. The rest is history.
One of my favorite parts of the book is when Catherine complains about her brother Robert and how he likes to "drown ants by pissing on the anthill."
Ten-year-old Madeline: " ...more
They found the remains of several spindles, many skeins of wool, and an unfinished tapestry in the muck from the privy. Why is everyone so certain they are mine?
Catherine is the best. I wanted to be her best friend when I was ten, and I now want to read her adult diary more than anything in the world.
It is written in diary format which is so popular for this age group ...more
This book boasts a delightful heroine, and in spite of the (wonderful!) medieval setting, all the angst and rebellion and other feelings I had in my own adolescence came spilling out of the pages. Kids are kids, no matter when or where.
I loved the characters (the goat boy, the dairy maid, the brothers, the uncle, the best friend!), the hilarious diary entries, the main character's love of animals (from ants to sad, dancing bears!), a ...more
I certainly did ...more
The problem, as I've noted with other great books such as 'Tuck Everlasting' and 'Dragonwings,' is that the joy of finding a good book that ...more
For the full review and more, head over to The Pretty Good Gatsby! ...more
Catherine, Called Birdy is like Bridget Jones's Diary if Bridget were 14, adamantly uninterested in men, and living in the 13th century. Catherine (who is only called Birdy, like, twice), is a lady of a not un-wealthy knight, and she feels perpetually stuck. She wishes she were richer, rich enough to have servants do everything for her ...more
Catherine had many of the characteristics of Ella from Ella Enchanted, such as determination, wit, and assertiveness, but without the vivacity which came through in the characterization of Ella. I found myself not really caring what happened to Catherine.
The format of the novel was interesting. Over the years, I’ve realized that writing in first person without becoming repetitive, pedantic and downright boring is diffi ...more
What an irrepressible child Birdy is. Her ingenuity in getting rid of prospective suitors is especially fun, though she's irrepressible in every other context, too. For a story to give you the flavor of the times, you could hardly do better. Of course it's quite obvious how the story is going to work out, and it does take a certain deliberate authorial intervention. Though for all I know, Birdy really would have poisoned that lout if necessary. I mean, I probably would have.
Best YA historical fiction novel ever. Birdy is just as sassy as any modern girl but she's stuck in a medieval village where woman are property to be bought and sold. Her diary records the year before her marriage at age 13.
Or kind of. I think for sure that I would've loved this a lot more as a kid, yet at the same time I would've understood far less (all the references to people "tumbling" lmao). There's a real transitional feeling about this book; it's a perf ...more
2ND DAY OF MAY, Feast of Saint Gennys, not the one who carried his own head
If I had to be born a lady, why not a rich lady, so someone else could do the work and I could lie on a silken bed and listen to a beautiful minstrel sing while my servants hemmed?
I have probably read through this book about 80 times since the first glorious time of reading Catherine, Called Birdy. I was only about 14 myself (same as the witty Catherine) when I first stumbled upon this book and, even though we ar ...more
This book was a very fun read. I'm always a sucker for diary style fiction and this one was done especially well. Cushman really did her research about the time period and that's essential. I think this book wouldn't have been so effective if Birdy had modern ideals and attitudes.
I remember reading a book in high school that was supposed to be set during the Industrial Revolution but the main character acted as though she was living in modern times. She traveled where she wanted, did what she ...more
Do you think the daughter of nobility in 1200's England would be a vulgar snot nosed brat one minute and then kind to the outcast goat herd boy the next?
I do sympathize with Catherine as her father seeks to marry her off to the richest suitor regardless of Catherine's feelings. At the same time Catherine is so impossible, her father prob ...more
But, I hated this book.
The worst book so far this year. Like it was so unbearably bad.
The protagonist was a whiny, bitchy, bad-tempered brat who didn't understand the love from people around her.
The writing was the worst part. It was as dry as sandpaper and as flavorless as burnt chicken.
I didn't finish it. And I don't want to torture myself reading one more page of this hor ...more
But still, Catherine finds a way to make her mark on the world.
Highly recommended. This book deserved to win the Newberry award.
|2015 Reading Chal...: Catherine, Called Birdy by Karen Cushman||1||10||Feb 22, 2015 07:07PM|
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|Young Adult Book ...: April 2014: Catherine, Called Birdy||1||6||Apr 13, 2014 06:13PM|
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She entered Stanford University on a scholarship in 1959 and graduated with degrees in Greek and English. She later earned master’s degrees in human behavior and museum studies.
For eleven years she was an adjunct professor in the Museum Studies Department at John F. Kennedy University before resigning in 1996 to write full-time.
She lives on Vashon Isla ...more