BIRD by Rita Murphy


Age Range: 10 - 13
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Bird-light Miranda has been lifted by the wind only to be grounded near the beach of Bourne Manor, where she is found by the owner’s hounds. The Manor’s owner, widow Wysteria, takes the child in and binds her to the earth with steel-plated boots. Miranda mends fishnets and the two eke out an existence together in the spooky manse until Wysteria takes sick. To save her, Miranda leaves the house to find a doctor in town. There she hears the rumors of the Captain, Wysteria’s dead husband, and that the house is haunted—more than haunted, really: It seems the house can control its residents’ thoughts. Farley, a boy Miranda has befriended, determines to help free her from the Manor’s insidious grasp. Echoes of Hawthorne’s House of Seven Gables run through this tale, which abounds with literary allusions. While even precocious child readers may not hear them, they will adore the setting, Miranda’s soaring, literary voice and the dreamy fantasy-meets-reality plot. (Fantasy. 10-13)

Pub Date: Oct. 14th, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-385-73018-1
Page count: 160pp
Publisher: Delacorte
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2008


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