Monday, June 16, 2014

Pizza and Pages: Bird by Angela Johnson

Type of Book: Realistic

Plot Summary:

Thirteen year-old Bird runs away from Ohio to Alabama to chase after her stepfather, Cecil and bring him back home. There, Bird meets Ethan, who lives in the house next to the barn where she is hiding. She also encounters a boy named Jay who is dealing with the death of his brother, Derek. Their lives intertwine in interesting and quietly surprising ways.

Average Teen Rating: 7.4
My realistic fiction fans rated this one high, but my sci-fi fans still gave it good marks!

Discussion Questions:

This Pizza and Pages meeting was unique because we were fortunate enough to get Angela Johnson live and in-person to answer questions! First of all, can I just be a fangirl and gush for a minute about her? I highly recommend trying to get Ms. Johnson to your school or library. She is lovely. She put the teens at ease with her demeanor and sense of humor and was always interested in hearing their thoughts and opinions.

So needless to say we didn't follow our typical discussion questions format, but I'll post the ones I had prepared anyway.

1. What do you think of the cover?
2. Why did Bird run away from home? Would you ever do the same thing?
3. What would you do and how would you feel if you were in Bird's situation?
4. On page 18, Ethan says that the world whispers when his Mama is near. He says the same thing about Bird. What do you think he means?
5. What did you think about the chapters alternating between Bird, Ethan, and Jay's perspectives? Do you think it added to the story? Did it confuse or bother you?
6. What do you think about Googy taking the fall for stealing Mrs. Pritchard's truck?
7. What kind of a person do you think Cecil is? Good? Bad? Neither? What makes you think so?
8. Ethan talks about how having Derek's heart makes him want to do and eat things he never wanted before, like peanut butter. Do you think this is scientifically possible?
9. Why do you think Bird chose to hide rather than confront Cecil? What was it that made her decide it was time to go back home?
10. Which character did you connect to the most?

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