MG Book Review – Nightbird by Alice Hoffman

nightbirdAlice Hoffman, best selling novelist of many books including Practical Magic and The Dovekeepers has written a book for middle-grade readers. It ‘s a great one! Magic, mystery and heart combine so effortlessly here, you’ll wish there was more!

Twelve-year old Twig may never have a normal life.

Her family is cursed. Years ago a broken- hearted witch placed a curse on the family so that all males grow wings. Twig’s brother James can fly! When her mother moves back to her hometown of Sidwell no one knows she actually has two children., She works hard to keep it that way and Twig must too. As if being twelve isn’t hard enough! Now she has no friends because she can’t invite anyone over. She can’t take the part in the school play that’s about the curse, and her brother is restless. He communes with birds. Keeping the secret is getting harder and harder to do. When things begin to go missing around town Twig must solve the mystery of who is pretending to be the monster and why.

But then a family moves in next door, into the very house once owned by the witch that put the curse on Twig’s family. Will Twig get a chance at a normal life? The newcomers are descendants of the witch and there is a girl who is just Twig’s age. There is a girl for James as well. Can the curse be reversed by love? Yes it can, if all involved have the courage to take a chance. Magic like people is often unpredictable.

This is a story that could easily been YA or an adult novel, but Hoffman chose to make it middle-grade. In so doing, she shows us how middle-grade books are truly special. Magic turns into enchantment.. It is a must read.


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