I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Nightbird by Alice Hoffman
Narrator: Jenna Lamia
Length: 4 Hours 43 Minutes
Published by Random House Children's Books on March 10th 2015
Genres: Animals, Dragons, Unicorns & Mythical, Family, Horror & Ghost Stories, Young Adult
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“I love the way Alice Hoffman creates the most ordinary people and then turns their lives magical. . . . [Nightbird] is like reentering a wonderful dream that you vaguely remember.” —Lois Lowry, two-time Newbery Medal–winning author of The Giver In her first novel for middle-grade readers , bestselling author Alice Hoffman tells a bewitching story of love and friendship that is truly magical. Twig lives in Sidwell, where people whisper that fairy tales are real. After all, her town is rumored to hide a monster. And two hundred years ago, a witch placed a curse on Twig’s family that was meant to last forever. But this summer, everything will change when the red moon rises. It’s time to break the spell. What Other Authors Are Saying"I loved Nightbird. Such a clever mix of fantasy and reality; the fantasy is so persuasively meshed with the story that the reader accepts everything. Alice Hoffman enters brilliantly into the twelve-year-old mind and winds her account of a disordered family into the twists and turns of an elegantly crafted narrative in which past and present unite to solve a magically intriguing problem of witches, feathers and owls." —Penelope Lively, winner of the Carnegie Medal and the Booker Prize
Why Did I Listen To This Book?
You guys! I always think that I am super well read but then I come across books by mega super star authors that I have not read and realize, whoa, I am not nearly as well read as I thought I was. Alice Hoffman is one of those authors. Like, I always hear about her books and they exist in a periphery in the fringe of my mind. I think I even own a couple of her books. However, none really caught my attention until Nightbird. And that’s because Nightbird was a short audiobook offered to me for review. I took it because I love books with magical elements and because the narrator, Jenna Lamia, has never let me down with her readings.
What’s The Story Here?
Main character Twig has only ever really had one friend, until this year, when a family moves in next door — the Early family. Twig happens to climb a tree to check the family out, she then falls from the tree, breaks her arm and a friendship with Agate and Julie, the two daughters of Dr. and Mrs. Early. I should probably back up a little bit. Twig lives in the small Massachusetts town of Sidwell. Her family has orchards and her mom makes these awesome pies that sell in the local diner. Twig’s family has a secret and a reason why no one can ever come over to her house. Her brother, James, who is brilliant and beautiful and amazing is different. He has wings and thus has the family curse. James goes out at night where he can fly around and such. When graffiti shows up on a town wall asking to ‘leave my home alone’ people assume it is the Sidwell monster and thus organize a monster hunt. And well, okay, Nightbird centers around Twig’s new friendship, her family, and ending the family curse. There’s quite a few threads of plot going on here.
How’s The Writing?
I actually really liked Hoffman’s writing. I found Twig to be relatable, in that I think so many kids know what it’s like to be lonely and what it’s like to hide a home situation. Granted, the situation definitely won’t be a brother with wings, but you know, it’s all too common today for kids to have issues at home. I think that even though this is magical realism, there’s that human connection there. I also loved the imagery, especially the pie descriptions. Let me tell you, listening to Nightbird by Alice Hoffman definitely had me jonesing for some pie.
How’s The Narration?
Jenna Lamia infuses Nightbird with a sort of delicateness. I think her narration of the story is carefully handled. She’s a narrator who is easy to listen to and has the sort of voice that does not immediately put you to sleep or make your attention wander. In fact, I don’t think I could think of a better narrator for this book.
Sum It Up With A GIF:
Magical Realism = best of both worlds y’all.