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Birdland

3.46  ·  Rating details ·  140 ratings  ·  28 reviews
A Greenwich Village teen finds new meaning in jazz and poetry as he struggles with the earth-shattering loss of his older brother in this acclaimed novel's paperback debut.

Amid the sparkle and hum of a New York City winter, Jed and his best friend, Flyer, are filming a documentary about their neighborhood. But what Jed is really in search of is his big brother, Zeke, an in
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Paperback, 208 pages
Published August 1st 2005 by Scholastic Paperbacks (first published 2003)
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3.46  · 
Rating details
 ·  140 ratings  ·  28 reviews


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Jennie Louwes
Mar 17, 2019 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Adam Wong
Dec 14, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ms-masters-class
Birdland by Tracy Mack is a fictional book that left me disinterested the whole time. The whole plot of the book is about the main character and his best friend, Flyer trying to make a documentary. They go around their town to make their documentary but Joseph, the main character is constantly distracted by his brothers death. The book revolves around the documentary Joseph wants to make about his town and is generally pretty boring because there is no suspense or emotions that will convey any f ...more
Seema ♥Nerdgirl♥
Great read, I really enjoyed it!
It was definitely my type. :)
I really liked how the author described the settings.
There were some problems I had with this book, though.
I didn't get what was with this girl, Kiki that was the key to Zeke (I didn't get why she cut herself, either). Also, in one part, when Flyer's dad, Mr. Gray wraps Jedi in a hug, he felt "my body collapses into the memory of that feeling. My eyes start to well up, which is so stupid." I didn't get why the main character sudden
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Ann Yanchura
Jun 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
A thoughtful story that honestly examines the terrible (and mixed) emotions that follow the loss of a family member told from a younger brother's perspective. Quick read that treats some of the subjects on a surface level, but one that ultimately touches your heart.
Ms W
Mar 20, 2017 rated it it was ok
MsW: Just finished, more to come...
JenniferL_D1
Dec 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Birdland by Tracy Mack is a realistic fiction book. Jed the main character works on a project for school. While filming his neighborhood Jed finds a homeless girl that he thinks may help him find a connection with Zeke his older brother. I recommend this book to people who normally don't read realistic fiction. This book is short so you can try something new.
Ron Arden
Enjoyable story about a boy and how he and his family deals with the death of his brother. Joseph Diamond and his friend Flyer make a documentary of thier east village (NYC) neighborhood for a school project over winter break. Jospeh or Jed meet a great group of people including a homeless girl who helps him understand more about Jed's brother Zeke. The imagery is very realistic and puts you right in the city. Zeke is a big fan of Charlie Parker and Jed begins to understand his brother through B ...more
Luis Madrid
Oct 16, 2009 rated it liked it
Jed Diamond is a young, and depressed teen. He has a speech problem and he stutters when he talks. When he tries talking he speaks no more than 3 or 4 words. He can barely put syllabals together to form a word. He wasn't always like this until a tragedy occurred. His poetic older brother Zeke died. Jed and his rebel best friend Flyer were assinged,by their teacher, to film a documentary of their neighborhood. They visited many places but not the usual attractions people travel to new york city t ...more
Toni
Mar 07, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
This is a book packed with issues. Boy whose older brother died from diabetic shock after drinking half a bottle of vodka. Was is suicide? It's a year and a bit after the 9/11 attacks and the city is still rebuilding after that. A homeless girl who cuts herself... We are looking for a book with a Jewish main character that doesn't deal with the holocaust, just normal life issues. This is a great book, but might be too full of stuff to unpack for the sixth grade curriculum we are trying to build.
Carson
Aug 11, 2013 rated it liked it
Amid the sparkle and hum of a New York City winter, Jed and his best friend, Flyer, are filming a documentary about their neighborhood. But what Jed is really in search of is his big brother, Zeke, an inspiring soul who loved jazzman Charlie "Bird" Parker, wrote electrifying poetry, and died too young. When Jed encounters a mysterious homeless girl he thinks holds the key to connecting him to Zeke, it could be the only way to unlock his deepest sorrow and discover how to be on his own
Heather
Jun 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
I found this to be a very moving book about relationships. I enjoyed the way the explanations came a little bit at time, it really felt like the information was being pulled out of Jed who didn't want to let go. Every character in the book deals with loss in a different way and learning with Jed that all of those ways are okay but that you also need to speak up if you need support. Theo with the toy ambulance broke my heart.
Barbara Schultz
May 02, 2016 rated it liked it
This was another audio that I download to listen to while I do my morning yoga stretches. I developed Piriformis Syndrome a few months ago and slow stretches are the cure. I am doing much better plus have gotten to listen to some great stories.
This is a short but moving story about family, relationships and loss. Jed is seeking why his brother Zeke died. Title is after jazzman Charlie "Bird" Parker whom Zeke loved and who also died young. Love the cover!!!
Devon
Feb 05, 2009 rated it liked it
Recommended to Devon by: Emery
Shelves: own
Emery sent me this book for Christmas (and I didn't get it until weeks later, because God forbid I ever check the mail) and I just got around to reading it during the show on Friday night. Well, it was amazing. Seriously. I read it in about two hours. I enjoyed the story of the whole family coping with Zeke's death. I didn't really understand the connection (if there was one) between Kiki & everything though, except that she was using Zeke's stuff. Anyway, I really enjoyed it.
Beth O'Connell
Jan 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
I've been looking at this one for four years in my library and never realized it's really a winter holiday story. Jed and his friend Flyer manage to create the perfect video elegy for Jed's brother while filming their New York City neighborhood for a class project. This story is so rich; it deserves a more compelling cover.
Helen
Jul 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
Again, I listened to this last year before moving, while commuting. I enjoyed it since it was a little older (YA)than my usual elementary selection (and not appropriate for an elementary library). It had a homeless girl who was a cutter, and almost died (suicide?). But the main story was about a boy hoping to learn more about his brother.
Abbey
Aug 14, 2015 rated it liked it
This one has been on my shelf for at least ten years (I'm terrible), but I knew I would want to read it and refused to dump it.

It is really well written and is a very unique story about a young boy dealing with grief and relationships.
Todd
Feb 09, 2009 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: XIIs
Kid films his neighborhood for school project while coming to grips with brother’s death. Gritty voice… pretty interesting. Saves homeless, free- spirited girl and in process comes together with father, who’s been distant. Family relationships, dealing with grief in different ways.
Laura
Audiobook.
Same narrator as Heartbreaking work of staggering genius...which threw me off at first, but I tried hard to look or listen past it to hear the rest of the story.
Sally
May 15, 2013 rated it liked it
Interesting story about a young man whose brother died of complications due to juvenile diabetes and how it affected the whole family.
Joe
Jun 18, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, young-adult
A novella that reads like a jazz sonata; sweet, moody and multi-directional: a kid's ode to his late older brother.
Cassidy
Aug 18, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, juvenile
This one of my favorite New Yorker books. A truly stunning novel. The gritty, lean, prose and excellent characters make Birdland an extraordinary book.
Sally
Jul 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Setting New York. It's about family loss, and reaching out to help.
Tina
Oct 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
a good story and a nice snapshot of NYC.
Alison Schultz
Oct 26, 2010 rated it liked it
Good story about family dynamics and reaching out to others. I enjoyed it.
InezL_D1
Sep 11, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
Jed (the main character) felt that his brother's death was not an accident. He used words in his brother's poem as images to find the truth. This book is a mystery and is an easy read.
Tressa
I lost interest in Birdland and stopped listening.
Heather
rated it really liked it
May 25, 2017
Rachel
rated it it was amazing
Oct 06, 2011
Sharon
rated it it was ok
Feb 26, 2015
Bella
rated it did not like it
Feb 10, 2016
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Tracy Mack's first novel, Drawing Lessons, was named a Booklist Top Ten First Bovel for Young Adults, a New York Public Llibrary Book for the Teen Age, a Bank Street College Best Book and a Teen People Next Award Finalist. Birdland, her second novel, garnered praise from Walter Dean Myers, Mary Pope Osborne and Julia Alvarez.

Tracy grew up in a one-square-mile village near the Hudson River, just no
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