Nightbird by Alice Hoffman
Published by Simon & Schuster
5th March 2015
Twig lives in a remote area of town with her mysterious brother and her mother, baker of irresistible apple pies. A new girl in town might just be Twig's first true friend, and ally in vanquishing an ancient family curse.
A spellbinding tale of modern folklore set in the Berkshires, where rumours of a winged beast draw in as much tourism as the town's famed apple orchards.
In Alice's own words she said "I'm writing Nightbird for kids and people who used to be kids" and as one of those in the target audience, can I say how much I enjoyed reading it. Twig lives in a ramshakle house with her mother, and a brother that no ones knows about. The reason no one knows he is there, is that, he has wings, due to a family curse. He lives upstairs in secret by day, but at night, when everyone is asleep, he stretches his wings and flies
Alas, all is not safe in the Berkshires, and a mysterious winged creature has been reported across the town of Sidwell. Strange messages keep appearing, and Twig is worried that her brother's secret might have been discovered. Alongside that is the arrival of their new neighbours, sisters Julie and Agate, one of whom becomes Twig's best friend, and the other who fate has decreed must give her heart to James.
This is a wonderfully written book, spellbinding and magical, full of secrets, witchcraft and curses as you follow the daily lives of Twig and her family. It is aimed at the 9-12 age reading bracket but actually, I'd maybe say that 9 is too young and older teens would love this book equally as much.
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