Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Sunday, March 8, 2015

NightBird by Alice Hoffman...

How I Heard About It:  I was lucky enough to get an advanced copy of this novel through Netgalley.  I had never read anything by this author and was excited to check it out.  The book will be released on March 10th.  

What It Is About:  Twig lives in a small town called Sidwell.  Sidwell is a magical town with an interesting and mysterious past.  There are stories that a "monster" exists in the woods and leaves messages for people and takes miscellaneous objects throughout the town.  Twig has a brother that must stay in his room and not let the town's people see him.  There was a curse put on Twig's family 200 hours ago by a witch and most of this curse was put upon Twig's brother.  When a new family moves in next door to Twig, her life is about to change.  The curse that has existed for all these years also has to do with this new family.  The children of both families join forces to break the evil spell that was thrust upon the families so many years earlier.    

What I Thought Of It:  This was a delightful and mysterious story.  I loved it.  While reading I was captivated by the mystery of Twig's brother, the "monster" in the woods, and the passion that Twig had to break the curse.  The plot moved along quickly and the cast of characters were unique.  For this being Alice Hoffman's first novel for young readers, I would say she knocked it out of the park.    

Who Should Read It:  This is a hard one for me to answer.  It is being publicized as a book for the middle-grade reader.  As I read it, I kept thinking would my fourth grade readers be interested and able to follow this plot.  In my opinion, they would not.  For me, this is more of a book for the middle-school and high school reader.  They would be able to enjoy this unique plot and appreciate these well-developed characters.  I'm sure there would be some fifth and sixth graders that would enjoy the story.  

Rating:  4 STARS out of 5 Stars

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