I got a free ARC of this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.
This book is an absolute delight. It doesn’t matter that I am forty and this book is intended for middle-grade students. This is the kind of book that can talk both to kids and adults. It is ageless. And it will touch your heart. I must confess this book made me cry at times. Because of that, I would suggest that this book should be read by kids with adult supervision, so they can ask questions and understand better some topics developed along this book. Also, this book takes place in 1972, so things have changed since then. Kids may have lots of questions about that period if they read this book.
Naomi “Chirp” Orenstein is a girl who loves bird-watching. Hence her nickname. Being an eleven-years-old girl is not easy sometimes, but when your family starts falling apart, the task of being a kid seems quite a difficult one. The Orensteins seem to be a happy Jewish family, with a psychiatrist father and a dancer mother, but things are not always what they seem. When they discover that Naomi’s mother has a disease, everything changes and nothing will ever be the same. Together with her best friend, Joey, Chirp will discover the world of birds and humans can be really different.
The writing of this book is flawless and the compelling storytelling will make you turn the pages until you have finished the book. You will laugh with Chirp, you will cry with her, and you will see things under a different prism thanks to the lovely bird images and comparisons appearing along the book. The development of the characters is really interesting and it adds to the enjoyment and pleasure of reading this gem of a book.
Highly recommended for spending a nice reading day with your children, or to enjoy it yourself while listening to the birds singing. I only regret not having read this book earlier.