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September 04, 2004
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Thirteen-year-old Bird runs away to convince her stepfather to return home, and becomes entwined in the lives of three people. In this ALA Notable Book, Coretta Scott King Award winner Johnson shows how one individual's warmth and kindness can heal so many hurts.

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Reader reviewed by librariane

This short novel tells the intertwining story of three children and a few adults, with the kids telling the story. Bird has run away to find
her step-father, who has also run away. Ethan has recently had a heart transplant, and is getting used to being a 'normal' kid again. Jay is struggling with the loss of his brother, and has been getting into trouble lately. Their lives turn into a dance shortly after Bird ran
away, Jay's brother died and Ethan got his transplant. Ethan's donor was Jay's brother, and Bird is hiding in the shed in Ethan's backyard,
and eventually she discovers that her stepfather is Ethan's uncle.

This is a story that starts and ends abruptly. Readers will get to know each of the characters, including a few of the secondary ones. Bird is an engaging girl, though you rarely feel sorry for her. Ethan is a likeable kid--the kind you'd like to have for a next door neighbor, now that he has a new heart. Jay is the rebel, but only because he's friends with the wrong sort and is struggling with his brother's death. Readers will find someone to identify with in this story. Overall it's not bad, and would make a good book discussion book.
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