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Flip the Bird

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  96 ratings  ·  34 reviews
Mercer Buddie wants two things in this world: a girlfriend and the chance to prove to his master falconer father that he’s not a flake. With hunting season fast approaching, fourteen-year-old Mercer has only a short time to work with Flip, a red-tailed hawk he irreverently named to show his dad that falconers don’t have to be so serious all the time.
When Mercer meets Lucy
Paperback, 351 pages
Published November 1st 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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Average rating 3.75  · 
Rating details
 ·  96 ratings  ·  34 reviews

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Kym Brunner
Jul 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
This book has lived in my heart (and computer) for many years. I am beyond excited to be releasing Flip the Bird out into the world for his fledgling tour.

Thank you to all the falconers who helped me on my journey, and to my 7th grade class a few years back who fell in love with this star-crossed lover's story, reigniting my desire to get this out into readers' hands. My deepest wish is that my readers develop the ability to be open-minded about the world and its inhabitants (humans and feather
Veronica of V's Reads
I absolutely devoured this YA contemporary romance.

Mercer Buddie is a high school freshman who's still trying to get his bearings in his world. Originally from northern Wisconsin, his family moved two years ago to the northwest Illinois area so his mother could take a director job at a fictional Rockford college. His mother is a scientist, though Mercer has little interaction with her because of her long hours. He's very close with his father, a bird expert and raptor rehabilitator. Raptors, for
Feb 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, arc, 2017
Wow, this one tickled me pink. Puns, falconing, crazy PETA-like organization, love, family, science - all that stuff in here. And an unconventional ending (for YA, at least). This one is a quick read - I know it took me weeks to read it but I was reading other stuff too, I swear - and a whole heap of fun. Hooray! Read this one to put yourself in a good mood.
Marykay Kinnear-mulholland
Sep 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I rarely read a book twice, "FLIP" was an exception!!! The first time I read thru so fast, needed to know what was next! Second time took my time to savor the details! Appreciated all the different aspects of this very engaging fun and serious book! Somethings were so familiar and other were excitingly new experiences! I really enjoyed getting to know the characters they seemed so real. The twists kept me reading and the ending tied it all together. More please! Cant wait for K. Brunner's next n ...more
Cherie Colyer
Jul 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Brunner does it again with Flip the Bird, an engaging adventure with compelling characters, an interesting plot that kept me turning the pages, and wonderful humor.
Virginia Mcgarvey
Oct 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Fourteen-year-old Mercer Buddie is determined to prove to his master-falconer father and brother Lincoln that he can be just as serious and a successful falconer as they are. Then he meets Lucy, a hot girl with a great personality. With adolescent hormones raging, he is set to impress her and claim her as his girlfriend. Then Mercer realizes that Lucy and her family are members of HALT, a fanatical activist animal-rights organization. With his mother that is head of a research department trying ...more
Apr 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Flip the Bird by Kym Brunner was a pleasant surprise filled with likeable characters, good theme, and a surprising second half. Barring some cringy dialogue, it is a thoroughly entertaining book.

   Marcus has always wanted two things: a girlfriend and to prove himself to his father, a master falconer. Throughout the novel, he encounters some hardships that turn him into a much stronger and mature kid. I swear he is the living embodiment of Murphy's Law. Everything that could have gone wrong went
Jill Cd
A romance book suitable for guys with a neat twist involving falconry. While reading it, I thought boys might enjoy it as well as the girls, but I can't see that at my school. I will test it put on a few kids to see.
Nov 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Issues with hunting, falconry, and animal rights activism all come together in Kym Brunner’s Flip the Bird. Fourteen year-old Mercer Buddie wants two things out of life right now: he wants a girlfriend, and he wants to be a falconer, like his father and brother. He’s training as an apprentice to his father, a master falconer, but feels like his dad favors his jock of an older brother and is too critical of him. He captures a red-tailed hawk that he names Flip – to show his dad that falconry does ...more
Jul 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this middle-level novel. What was so appealing to me was the information I learned about falconry - who knew?! While it's not a popular activity in my area it must be in the mid west? Anyway, really likeable characters and fun!
Dec 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic! At first I thought this would just be a teenaged cheesy rom-com but it turned out to be much more than that!

First, I picked this book because the main character (Mercer) is training to be a falconer from his Dad and his family runs a bird of prey rehab center. The book delivered on that regard because I learned something about falcon training, rehab and bird care.

The rom-com part of the book was a bit cheesy and seems to be written more at a middle school level than high school, which
Nov 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
You'll flip for this blend of humor and heart!

Having been a bystander of the falconry apprenticeship process with my partner (now a general) and having a master falconer cousin I couldn't resist giving FLIP THE BIRD a read. Falconry is such a fascinating sport—way more work and dedication than I have the desire to take up—and having some first hand knowledge I felt I could give it a pretty fair shake for facts while enjoying a YA read.

Mercer is a charming boy that has a lot of tough choices to
Margo Kelly
Oct 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Oh. My. Gosh. I LOVED IT!! Loved it. This book had me from page one.

FLIP THE BIRD by Kym Brunner is delightful, refreshing, and engaging.

As the title suggests, fun word plays are peppered throughout the book, and Brunner infuses the story with a sense of humor that had me laughing out loud multiple times. Brunner takes us into a world that many readers are not familiar - the world of falconry. While there are scenes set in a typical high school, most of the story takes place in settings new an
Jeanette Ruby
Dec 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I don't read a lot of young adult fiction but this was a winner. It was completely entertaining for an adult reader but I think it would be a brilliant choice for kids around 10 and older. It's a fast-paced, exciting story with a surprise that really knocked me over. I couldn't put it down once I got to that part, and ended up reading the rest in one sitting. The detail around falconry as a sport is fascinating and well-researched, and told in a way that doesn't seem instructional, yet it is! I ...more
Dec 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult, contemp
4.5 stars

Flip the Bird delivers on so many fronts! Not only does it offer up tons of laughs and page-turning suspense, but it also introduces readers to what has to be one of the coolest hobbies ever, falconry. The glimpses into this world are fantastic, and I have no doubt Brunner will whet many readers’ appetite to explore this topic more fully and, who knows, maybe even give it a try themselves.

But the author doesn’t stop there. Even better, she uses the burgeoning attraction between aspirin
Apr 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I won this book from the Goodreads giveaways.

This is a great YA book! I love the narrator, Mercer Buddie, and his sense of humor. I learned a lot about falconry and found it fascinating. Mercer learns a lot about a fanatical animal-rights organization called HALT.

I never wanted to put this book down. I like most of the characters and I hope the author, Kym Brunner writes another Mercer Buddie book or writes one from one of his siblings' point-of-view.
Rachel's Book Reviews
Jul 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2016
4 stars!!

While there is a noticeable slump in the middle, this novel is such a little gem!! It was one of my most anticipated books to receive at ALA and luckily I found a small stack of them on Sunday.

It was adorable, the detail was flippin amazing (pun totally intended) and it actually made me laugh.

Full review soon!!
Sep 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
From the first page to the last, I couldn't put this book down! I loved the characters and loved the suspenseful plot. I never really knew much about falconry, but I think it's super cool. I live in Wisconsin so I especially loved all the details about Wisconsin life.
Dec 19, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: mame-list-2016
3.5. I can see this being a hit with 7th and 8th grade guys (and girls?).
Hoover Public Library Kids and Teens
A falconer apprentice falls for the daughter of crazed animal rights activists. This should end well.
Sarah Bauer
Aug 18, 2018 rated it liked it
Book theme song: O/Fly On by Coldplay (First State & Jochen Miller remix). Why remix? Because the meaning of the song fits but the original is a bit melancholic. This one's a bit more upbeat.
I'd recommend this book to any animal lovers (who aren't squeamish; there is some gore). Though it did get a bit soapboxy at some points and the pacing was weird, it was an enjoyable read. The family dynamic between the Buddies is believable and entertaining. Mercer is kind of an ass for most of the book a
Nicolas Weller
Feb 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The book Flip the Bird by Kym Brunner is a realistic fiction novel. In Flip the Bird, there is a kid named Mercer Buddie, and his love for falconry is unmatched by anyone. His Mom works at a college supposedly doing experiments with animals as the test subject, and his Dad is a master falconer who houses injured birds until they are ready to be in the wild again. When going to catch his first hawk, he realizes he left his mouse at home, so he stops at a local pet store to get one. In the pet sto ...more
Oct 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book!
I had so much fun reading this. Mercer is one heck of a character. I don't know what was better, his witty remarks or his character growth.
Flip was amazing too! I never would have guessed there was so much to Falconry. They honestly make it look so easy. You never think about the time and dedication that goes into building a trusting relationship with a wild Falcon.
Brunner did a very good job writing a book about something as serious as finding oneself in a way that will have
Mark Richards
Dec 14, 2017 rated it liked it
I thought this book would be funny, but it isn't really. This is really a book about finding your way. Mercer decides to change who he is to try and get the girl. We all know how that works out. Fortunately, he figures it out, but not before bad things happen. Great descriptions of falconry here along with a smattering of positive and not so positive role models. The family feels very real and the struggle is definitely one anyone can relate to. Some slightly mature content makes this book a goo ...more
Jul 27, 2018 rated it liked it
I'm not a fan of YA novels, but Kym came to our school's Writer's Day, so I bought a signed copy to support our school's poetry club. The information about falconry was somewhat interesting, but the characters were a bit flat. Saving grace is that it had a positive theme for kids. I wouldn't recommend this for an adult, but I think teens might like it.
Apr 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Entertaining and easy read. Accurate falconry terms and information. Main character and his friends seemed a bit immature.
Teresa Bateman
Mar 08, 2017 rated it liked it
Don't let the title throw you. Yes, this is a YA book and, yes, someone does "flip the bird" in the book. However, this is the story of Mercer. His father runs a bird rehabilitation facility, and is a falconer. Mercer is finally getting the chance to apprentice under his father. He will train and hunt with a hawk. He's already helping with the other birds which, when possible, are released after rehabilitation. Being a falconer has long been his dream. When he gets his first bird he names it Fli ...more
Dec 14, 2016 rated it it was ok
I admire this author for taking on a unique setting for a story, the world of falconry. I am a literature person, so although many in the falconry world might appreciate a shout out for that amazing lifestyle and practice, I have to stick to the elements of literature when I review books. I wish she would have stayed in that environment rather than branching out into teenage romance and animal rights. To me it was like trying to make sense of an over-designed outfit. More editing was needed to s ...more
Dec 14, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
DNF I gave this two nights and got to about the halfway point before giving up. I've read plenty of books with clueless teenage boys who change over the course of the story, but I just didn't care enough about this character to see if his decision-making skills ever get any better.
Amanda Sanders
Apr 04, 2017 rated it liked it
This book started out great. It proposed 2 sides to the controversial issue of the treatment of animals. Mercer, the main character, is a meat-eating falconer who is interested in a vegetarian girl who is part of an animal rights group that protests outside of Mercer's mother's university research lab. As they get to know each other, Mercer misrepresents himself. The plot evolved well until Mercer said too many times that he would never lie again. He didn't seem to be learning the lesson that li ...more
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Kym Brunner dreams entire novels in her head, but needs about a year to write it all down. She wishes there was an app for this. She's addicted to chai tea, going to the movies, and reality TV. She lives in the Chicago area with her family and two dogs. Keep in touch by following her on Facebook (Author Kym Brunner), Twitter (@KymBrunner), or at her website,


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