Author: Crystal Chan
Genre: MG Contemporary
Length: 295 pages
Published by: Text Publishing Australia
Source: won in a giveaway (thanks, Text!)
Nothing matters. Only Bird matters. And he flew away.
Jewel never knew her brother Bird, but all her life she has lived in his shadow. Her parents blame Grandpa for the tragedy of their family’s past; they say that Grandpa attracted a malevolent spirit—a duppy—into their home. Grandpa hasn’t spoken a word since. Now Jewel is twelve, and she lives in a house full of secrets.
Jewel is sure that no one will ever love her like they loved Bird, until the night that she meets a mysterious boy in a tree.
Grandpa is convinced that the boy is a duppy, but Jewel knows that he is something more. And that maybe the time has come to break through the stagnant silence of the past.
Entrenched secrets, mysterious spirits, and an astonishing friendship weave together in this extraordinary and haunting debut.
First of all:
This gif encapsulates all that I feel about Bird. It’s such a lovely, unique, diverse book, and I’m so glad I own it so it can stay on my bookshelf forever.
How am I supposed to review this? Okay. Right. I’ve got this.
First of all, Jewel is a really great character. She’s open-minded; she’s courageous; she’s a really well-rounded, different character. John, her friend, is also well-written. I totally understand why he did what he did, even if Jewel’s anger towards him was understandable.
Then the family! All the arguments made sense: there’s the Dad, clinging to Jamaican legends which to the Mum’s mind are stupid. He believes in duppies and evil spirits, and I’ve never read anything like this culture. But more on that in a minute! I felt sorry for Jewel during their arguments, and just wanted to hug her. Actually, I seem to want to hug lots of people in books.
YES, MARGE. I WANT TO HUG JEWEL BUT I CAN’T. *hugs books instead*
Also – Grandpa! He doesn’t speak but his relationship with Jewel is just…amazing. It doesn’t start off well but I love the development. And I love the cassette tapes.
Then there’s the culture, which I touched on before. It’s a mix of Jamaican and Mexican culture, and I really liked Jewel and John’s relationship to the environment. I loved how she buried rocks and how she believed in duppies, and the Event Horizon (you’ll know what it is if you’ve read the book).
And also, Jewel and John know so many more things than me. I enjoyed reading all about geology and a bit of cosmology (black holes are cool, okay?).
All in all, a wonderful, different, beautiful book.
Rating: 5/5 Wonderkitties