Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Flashback Tuesday: Catherine Called Birdy by Karen Cushman

As I have stated before my sister, Ann E. Burg, is an author. She and her friend, the acclaimed author Lesa Cline-Ransome are teaching a class called "Writing for Children: Not Just a Fairytale" at the Rhinebeck, NY School for Continuing Education. My sister was telling me about yesterdays class discussion . They were discussing unique "voices" in children's literature. The first book that popped into my head that has a great "voice" was the classic Newbery Honor title, Catherine Called Birdy by Karen Cushman.

I remember when this book came out. I have always liked history and this had all the elements of a great book. I remember getting caught up in the story. Catherine is a great character who was easy to like and empathize with. She is strong willed with a great sense of self. Karen Cushman was able to write about a time and place that is foreign to the reader but still have us understand the life that Catherine was leading.
I was a bit disappointed that it didn't win the Newbery Medal, I felt that it really was the best book that season. I was happy the next year that Karen Cushman went on to win for her next title, The Midwives Apprentice, but still thought Catherine was the better book. I think that Catherine Called Birdy is a must read for all. It has a very memorable character and is a fantastic read.

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