Entrenched secrets, mysterious spirits, and an astonishing friendship weave together in this extraordinary and haunting debut that School Library Journal calls “a powerful story about loss and moving on.”
Nothing matters. Only Bird matters. And he flew away.
Jewel never knew her brother Bird, but all her life she has lived in his shadow. Her parents blame Grandpa for the tragedy of their family’s past: they say that Grandpa attracted a malevolent spirit—a duppy—into their home. Grandpa hasn’t spoken a word since. Now Jewel is twelve, and she lives in a house full of secrets and impenetrable silence.
Jewel is sure that no one will ever love her like they loved Bird, until the night that she meets a mysterious boy in a tree. Grandpa is convinced that the boy is a duppy, but Jewel knows that he is something more. And that maybe—just maybe—the time has come to break through the stagnant silence of the past.
On the day Jewel was born, her five-year-old brother, Bird, threw himself off a cliff in an attempt to fly. In the 12 years that have passed since his death, the family hasn't recovered: Jewel's grandfather hasn't spoken for years; her mother is depressed; and Jewel fears that no one will love her as much as her family loved Bird. But then she meets and befriends a boy named John, and has a chance to change her life for the better. In this audio edition, Stenberg turns in a fun, spirited performance. Her narration is smooth and well paced. And, most importantly, Sternberg ably captures the essence of Jewel, her voice full of youthful pluck and a hint of sadness. Although the narrator doesn't lend the characters particularly unique voices, listeners will have little trouble differentiating who is speaking to whom. Ages 8-12. An Athenaeum hardcover.