Chasing Redbirdby Sharon Creech, Kate Harper
It started out as an ordinary summer. But the minute thirteen-year-old Zinny covered the old, overgrown trail that ran through the woods behind her family's house, she realized that things were about to change.Right from the start, Zinny knew that uncovering the trail would be more than just a summer project. It was her chance to finally make people notice her, and… See more details below
It started out as an ordinary summer. But the minute thirteen-year-old Zinny covered the old, overgrown trail that ran through the woods behind her family's house, she realized that things were about to change.Right from the start, Zinny knew that uncovering the trail would be more than just a summer project. It was her chance to finally make people notice her, and to have a place she could call her very own. But more than that, Zinny knew that the trail somehow held the key to all kinds of questions. And that- the only way to understand her family, her Aunt Jessie's death, and herself, was to find out where it went. From the author of the Newbery Medal-winning Walk Two Moons, here is an intricately woven tale of a young girl who sets out in search of her place in the world and discovers it in her own backyard.
Until recently, Zinnia Taylor, 13, spent a lot of time in the "Quiet Zone" of Aunt Jessie and Uncle Nate's house next door. But Aunt Jessie has died, and Uncle Nate remains bereft. Calling her his Redbird, he spends most of his time chasing through the woods, believing he is in pursuit of her. Adding to Uncle Nate and Zinny's burden is the death of her cousin, Rose, who died of the whooping cough when she and Zinny were both four. Amidst this pain, Zinny is looking for a place to call her own, for a sense of who she is, and for someoneanyonewho cares about her "most." The plotting can become capricious in the extreme, but Creech (Pleasing the Ghost, 1996, etc.) crams her novel full of wonderful characters, proficient dialogue, bracing descriptions, and a merry use of language. A bundle of contradictions, Zinny is at her prickly, individualistic best when fending off the overtures of 16-year-old Jake Boone, whom she (mistakenly) suspects of using her to get to her older sister.
- Listening Library, Inc.
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.52(w) x 7.59(h) x 1.91(d)
- Age Range:
- 10 - 14 Years
Read an Excerpt
Worms dangled in Aunt Jessie's kitchen: red worms swarming over a lump of brown mud in a bowl. The bowl and the worms and the lump of mud were in a cross-stitched picture hanging above the stove.
When I learned to read, I made out these words in blue letters beneath the bowl: Life is a bowl of spaghetti ... Those worms weren't worms; they were spaghetti. I imagined myself rummaging among the twisted strands of pasta. That was my life?
There were more words: ... every now and then you get a meatball. That mud was a meatball! I saw that meatball as a tremendous bonus you might unearth in all those convoluted spaghetti strands of your life. It was something to look forward to, a reward for all that slogging through your pasta.
In my thirteen years, I've had meatballs, and I've had lumps of mud, too.
My name is Zinny (for Zinnia) Taylor. I live with a slew of brothers and sisters and my parents on a farm in Bybanks, Kentucky. Our house fits snug up against Uncle Nate and Aunt Jessie's, the two houses yoked together like one. Sometimes it seems too crowded on our side, and you don't know who you are. You feel like everybody's spaghetti is all tangled in one pot.
Last spring I discovered a trail at the back of our property -- an old trail, overgrown with grass and weeds. I knew instantly that it was mine and mine alone. What I didn't know was how long it was or how hard it would be to uncover the whole thing, or that it would turn into such an obsession, that I'd be as driven as a chickeneating dog in a henhouse.
This trail was just like thespaghetti of me and my family, of Uncle Nate and Aunt Jessie, and of Jake Boone. It took a heap of doing to untangle it.Chasing Redbird. Copyright © by Sharon Creech. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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