Review / Birdie’s Bargain

20211218ma_4059Book: Birdie’s Bargain (2021)
Author: Katherine Paterson
Genre: MG, Contemporary

Opening lines from the book …
It wasn’t until the volunteers from the Lions Club had left and they stood in the empty apartment looking at nothing that Birdie realized her bicycle was gone. The sofa, the kitchen table and chairs, all the beds—even the TV—had been carried to the truck. Daddy had finished stuffing the trunk of the Subaru and the tiny U-Haul trailer with all the boxes and baby furniture when she thought of it.


1) Birdie is such an introspective girl. I love how we get right into her worries for her daddy who is being shipped out overseas (he’s in the Army).

2) Birdie’s grandmother is just the right amount of grown-up for this story. She’s involved in Birdie’s life, but also encourages her to go out and make friends in her new home. There’s also Mr. Goldberg, the teacher. Like the grandmother, he’s there as a grown-up influence, yet he’s not a helicopter-type who ruins the kid’s agency in the story.

3) And then we come to Alicia Marie. Oh boy, what a character! She’s one of those characters that you can’t stand. She’s so bossy toward Birdie, and yet there’s something about her that makes you feel sorry for her.

4) Finally, there’s Daddy. We don’t really get to meet him too much as a character. But we do get to know him quite well through Birdie’s memories and thoughts.

5) I love when books reference other books. This one talks about Charlotte’s Web and Anne Frank’s Diary and Because of Winn Dixie. I love how it all affects Birdie’s experience.


1) If you’re looking for a book that wraps everything up neatly with a bow, Katherine Paterson isn’t your author. There were a few things, especially about Alicia Marie, that I wanted to know more about. It wasn’t anything horribly wrong with the book, but I would have liked a tiny bit of closure there.


I am so thankful for another book by Katherine Paterson! She is such a thought-provoking author. And I really enjoyed this one…



Have you read this book? What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Note: I’m posting this for Greg Pattridge’s Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday

8 thoughts on “Review / Birdie’s Bargain

  1. I’m afraid I’ve never read anything by Katherine Paterson, which is pretty embarrassing! But it sounds like her newest is quite compelling. I love that it references other books—especially Because of Winn-Dixie! And Birdie sounds like an excellent character. Thanks so much for the wonderful review, Maria!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love Bridge to Terabithia, but it’s a sad one. I adore The Great Gilly Hopkins! (And Jacob Have I Loved is good, too. Although I did NOT like that book when I was a child/tween. I didn’t GET it. Reread it as an adult and I was like: “Oh! Amazing.”)

      Liked by 1 person

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