My book review of 'Bird Boy' by Catherine Bruton

by Catherine Bruton
Recommended age: 9+
Bird Boy
by Catherine Bruton

I've recently read the amazing 'No Ballet Shoes in Syria' by this author so leapt on this, her new book for 9-12-year-olds (published this week), with great anticipation. And it's great! Perhaps not as surprising or original as Ballet Shoes, but a fabulous read with emotion, grief, healing and hope, and strong messages about family and community, conservation and the environment.

Eleven-year-old Will has recently lost his mum and is due to be sent across the world to live with grandparents in Australia. Until the details can be finalised, he's sent to stay with his uncle in the mountains. 

Naturally he's finding everything difficult to deal with but enjoys losing himself in the countryside, and making friends with Omar, a refugee fro Afghanistan.

The boys discover an osprey nest with two chicks and build a strong bond with the birds. So much so that when one of the chicks, which they've named Whitetip, is knocked out of the nest, Will rescues it, takes it home and seeks to keep it alive.

This is a great read, full of adventure, courage and resourcefulness. There are powerful messages in the book but overall it's a story of hope and community. Uplifting and poignant. It reminded me of the book 'Skyhawk' by Gillian Lewis, which is also brilliant.

Date of this review: March 2024
Book publication date: 9th May 2024