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CompleteMartialArts.com - Catherine, Called Birdy (rpkg) (Trophy Newbery)

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Manufacturer: HarperTrophy
Average Customer Rating: Average rating of 4.0/5Average rating of 4.0/5Average rating of 4.0/5Average rating of 4.0/5Average rating of 4.0/5

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Binding: Paperback
EAN: 9780064405843
ISBN: 0064405842
Label: HarperTrophy
Manufacturer: HarperTrophy
Number Of Items: 1
Number Of Pages: 224
Publication Date: 1995-05-01
Publisher: HarperTrophy
Reading Level: Young Adult
Release Date: 1995-03-31
Studio: HarperTrophy

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Editorial Reviews:

Catherine feels trapped. Her father is determined to marry her off to a rich man--any rich man, no matter how awful. \n\nBut by wit, trickery, and luck, Catherine manages to send several would-be husbands packing. Then a shaggy-bearded suitor from the nor

Spotlight customer reviews:

Customer Rating: Average rating of 1/5Average rating of 1/5Average rating of 1/5Average rating of 1/5Average rating of 1/5
Summary: If I could rate this zero stars, trust me I would
Comment: I had to read this book for school, and it was boring and had absolutely no plot. It was SUPPOSED to be about a girl who's father kept trying to set her up with rich people and she was supposed to do HILARIOUS pranks to them. That happened for about 5 pages scattered throughout the book. The rest had nothing to do with anything, it was pretty much words typed up on paper. It wasn't funny. it wasn't adventurous. It wasn't anything but boring.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: Great book
Comment: I am a music teacher and am doing a medieval/renaissance program at the library. I made this required reading for my students because it really helps them see what it would have been like to grow up a young woman in medieval times. It keeps your attention because it's rather short and has all the gross stuff in it like pig stomach with raisins, stinky privies, and the like. You know, stuff that intrigues middle schoolers. They just need help with the vocabulary because it use colloquialisms that are not understood in our modern language. A great read even for adults!

Customer Rating: Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5
Summary: Catherine Called Birdy
Comment: Title: Catherine, Called Birdy
Publisher: Harper Trophy
Author: Karen Cushman
Date: 1994
Reading Level: 7th grade
Number of Pages: 224
Genre: Historical Fiction

Plot Synopsis: Catherine (Birdy) is living in Medieval England with her parents in the late 1200s. This book is written through the eyes of Catherine in the form of a journal, who starts writing when she is 14 and finishes when she is 15. She is part of a middle class family: her father is a knight and her mother is a noblewoman, and they are actively trying to find the wealthiest groom for Catherine. Catherine feels like she is being auctioned off, and works hard to repulse each suitor so that no one will stay. Catherine describes in detail many of the things she doesn't like about being a `lady' in the late 1200s, such as sewing, caring for the sick and making soap. She states that she would rather live the life of a knight, as they are free to make their own choices and aren't tied down by a husband.
Catherine is eventually matched with a much older man, whom she calls Shaggy Beard. Right before the marriage, Catherine runs away to her aunt's house. She returns home shortly thereafter, sadly accepting her fate. When she gets home she learns that Shaggy Beard has died and she will instead marry his much younger son, who has inherited all of his father's wealth. Shaggy Beard's son actually enjoys reading and learning, and Catherine ends her journal much happier about her prospects in this marriage.

Negative Aspects of the book: Karen Cushman worked to make this book as historically accurate as possible. Because of this, she is rather crude when describing bodily functions. Catherine tells a story about a boy who farts in front of the king, describes urination in public, and talks of her brother "rolling around in the hay." I would be careful to only give this to a class of students who are mature enough to realize that she writes like this to be historically accurate, not to be gross.

My Personal Appraisal: A wonderful book for middle school girls AND boys alike! Catherine is a strong woman who rebels against the preferred path for women at that time. She shows her reader that it is okay to be different from others, and ultimately ends up happy in her own way. I also really like the format of this book. Because it is in a journal format, it is easier to read and will attract even those students who are reluctant readers. Having students keep a journal of their own would be a great activity to go along with this book. A journal would make them familiar with the format of the book, and maybe introduce students to the value of keeping a journal of their own.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5
Summary: A. Stewart's Book Review
Catherine Called Birdy by Karen Cushman is about a girl named Catherine in the Middle Ages. She is now old enough to be married off, and her father is persistent, bringing many suitors to meet her. Catherine has managed to get rid of all of them, until "Shaggy Beard" comes along. He's old, obnoxious and ugly (according to Catherine), and he's not at all swayed by her attempts to get rid of him. Catherine never really wants to get married, especially not to this man. With the marriage crawling closer and closer, Catherine has to put out her best and avoid the marriage before it's too late.

This is a great read for anyone looking for a short, but interesting book to read. The characters are very original, and Catherine's views on the world are very different from a lot of girls her age and from her time. Karen Cushman does a great job of describing things through Catherine's eyes. Catherine is sometimes really critical of people and it's funny to see how she describes these people. Readers can really connect with Catherine and her world. They will get to the thirtieth page, and won't put the book down from there!

Customer Rating: Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5
Summary: A Great Book for Teen History Reports
Comment: For school, I was doing a report on what living during the Medieval Times was like, and I had saw this book at our library and decided to read it. It was a great story about a girl my age who kept a diary and wrote about what her daily life was like. It gave me a good idea about the living conditions, traditions, etc. of that time period. The book was entertaining and funny, and it was a nice length, not too long yet not too short. I would recommend "Catherine, Called Birdy" for anyone who wants a taste of what medieval life was like, because I think Karen Cushman did a great job of portraying it in this book.

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