Friday, May 03, 2019


Birdie. Eileen Spinelli. 2019. 208 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: I pick the hairs from my brush. I put them in my pocket. I will drop them on the grass on my way to Mrs. Bloom's. I do this every Saturday.

Premise/plot: Birdie Briggs is mourning her father (who was a fireman), crushing on her friend, Martin, and wishing--in vain--that life wouldn't be so quick to go on. Why does her Mom need a boyfriend?! Her Grandma also has a new boyfriend in this one. BUT. Birdie welcomes that relationship and the joy it brings Maymee. Life is full of complications.

My thoughts: Birdie Briggs is a bird-loving, Scrabble player. I like her. I do. The book is a quick, often sweet read. If I have a complaint it is that this one is a verse novel that doesn't really need to be a verse novel. Does that make sense? There is nothing lyrical or poem-like about these "verses." The poetic form adds nothing to the story. The book is prose trying to play dress up and be something its not: poetry.
There are actually
two visitors:
Officer Downey and
Mr. Gray's cat, Olive.
Maymee gives a squeak
of surprise.
Officer Downey
There are legitimate verse novels. Where the verse is actually verse--where the words, the phrases, the sentences are lyrical.

But the story is a good one. I liked it. 

© 2019 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

1 comment:

Ms. Yingling said...

Very few verse novels are really in verse. My students are not big fans, and I find the books often lack details important to understanding the issues discussed.