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Thursday, May 12, 2016

Nightbird by Alice Hoffman

NightbirdWelcome to Sidwell, Massachusetts, the home of a legendary monster.  It's so legendary that it draws tourists to the town as well as its famed Pink apples.  Meet Twig, the 12-year-old narrator of the story is who the sister of the monster.  Well, James is not really a monster.  The males of the family have been cursed since 1776, when his great-great-great-great grandfather stood up Agnes Early on the evening they were supposed to run off to be married.  Twig's mom protects her children by keeping the family secluded from most of the townspeople and events.  They live near the Mourning Dove Cottage, which was once the home of the witch.  It has been abandoned for many years.

But not now.  Relatives of Agnes Early have decided to move back into the cottage.  Twig's mom tells her not to go over there but Twig becomes friends with Julia.  James and Julia's big sister, Agate, begin to fall in love.  Besides the curse, there is mysterious graffiti being drawn throughout the town saying DON"T TAKE OUR HOME.  A developer wants to build a mall and houses in the woods near Sidwell.  The monster is being blamed for writing the messages and the townspeople are ready to hunt for the culprit.  Will they find the graffiti culprit?  Will the curse be broken?

Nightbird has been nominated for the 2017 Caudill Book Award.  Once the character of Julia was introduced, the book became really engaging.  I couldn't wait to see if they could break the curse between the two families.  I think Sidwell would be a place where I would like to live.  The townspeople seemed really nice and accepting of people.  At the end they all come together (but I won't give away the ending.


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