THE EVER-AFTER BIRD by Ann Rinaldi

THE EVER-AFTER BIRD

Age Range: 10 - 14

KIRKUS REVIEW

In 1851, 13-year-old CeCe McGill accompanies her Uncle Alex, a doctor, ornithologist and abolitionist, on a trip from Pennsylvania to Georgia in search of the rare scarlet ibis to paint for a new book and to guide slaves to the Underground Railroad. It’s a dramatic tale: an adventure, an eyewitness account of the horrors of slavery and the story of a young girl’s growing strength and resolve to do what’s right. However, the novel is rooted in unlikely and implausible history. Freedom quilts are likely folklore, and Rinaldi uses them as part of Uncle Alex’s work and includes the controversial Hidden in Plain View (1999) as her one source on the quilts, with no discussion in the author’s note. The tropical scarlet ibis would have been exceedingly rare, unlikely to have been found, let alone widely known by the slaves and referred to as the Ever-After Bird (for its promise of freedom to those who see it). It seems Rinaldi is creating myth here, when the real history is dramatic enough. (author’s note, bibliography) (Historical fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-15-202620-2
Page count: 240pp
Publisher: Harcourt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2007




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