Chasing Redbird

by Sharon Creech

Other authorsMarc Burckhardt (Illustrator)
Paperback, 2012

Status

Available

Local notes

PB Cre

Barcode

776

Publication

HarperCollins (2012), Edition: Reprint, 272 pages

Description

Thirteen-year-old Zinnia Taylor uncovers family secrets and self truths while clearing a mysterious settler trail that begins on her family's farm in Kentucky.

Language

Original language

English

Original publication date

1998

Physical description

272 p.; 5.13 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member musiclvr-pbjsquirt24
I personally loved this book. I started reading it, having nothing better to do, thinking I wouldn't enjoy it, but it had me hooked until the end! There is a great story line, with amusing characters, realistic life tragedies, and a happy "togetherness" quality throughout the book. With a just a
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touch of romance, and some adventure/suspense, this is a 'must-read' for anyone ages 9&up.
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LibraryThing member CatheOlson
The style of this book reminded me of Walk Two Moons--there is also a lot in this book about the relationship of a young teen and her grandparents. In this story, Zinny's grandmother dies and Zinny thinks it's her fault and that her grandfather blames her. She becomes obsessed with clearing an old,
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overgrown trail to have something that will make her stand out from all of her brothers and sisters--and she discovers more about her grandparents in the process.
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LibraryThing member mickmyster13
This is a story about a girl who wants to find her own path in life and wants her voice to be heard. I think it would be an excellent story for the child to read who is feeling left out and feels like giving up because no one cares. I liked this story.
LibraryThing member PatsyAdams
Grade: 4-7
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Themes: Setting long term goals, young romance, loss, acceptance, guilt
I totally enjoyed this book. Zinnia Taylor lives in a large family and sometimes feels lost in the bunch. She discovers an old overgrown trail and decides to find out where it goes. This
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involves camping on the trail for a few weeks during the summer. Her aunt and uncle live next door and they had a daughter who was Zinnia's age and died as a small child. Her aunt and uncle were never the same afterward. During her time on the trail, Zinnia begins to stop blaming herself for her cousin and her aunts deaths. She discovers a cabin on the trail that answers many of Zinnia's questions. There is also this little romance throughout the book about a boy named Jake who admires Zinnia and keeps bringing her gifts that he steals. She doesn't believe that anyone would like her and both jake and Zinnia find themselves that summer. I don't think that I would use this book as a read aloud but would have it in my library and recommend it to my students. There are great discussions you can have with this book. For example: What is the proper way to show affection for someone? Do yo have family members that are just a little bit different? Do you ever just want to be alone? There would be great literature circle questions.
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LibraryThing member caitsm
Zinny uncovers a trail on her family's property, but also uncovers her family's secrets on the way.
LibraryThing member alexa.kirk
I really enjoyed this book. It is a great read especially for children who are in middle school and are trying to figure out who they are. Zinny is a very likable and relatable character. This book has so many mysteries and twists that wind along just like the trail Zinny is uncovering. This
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realistic, honest, coming of age story that examines some ethical issues of stealing, trust, dealing with confusing emotions, and death.
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LibraryThing member eleanor.robbins
Chasing Redbird is an exciting tale of a young girl trying to find herself. I really liked this story becuase it had all different kinds of surprises in it.
LibraryThing member t1bclasslibrary
Zinny starts to clear a path she discovers behind her house. Eventually she discovers the purpose of this path and vows to clear it by the end of the summer. She's working through her own issues as she goes, blaming herself for the death of her cousin and aunt, wondering about how her family feels
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about her among so many children, and wondering how to help her uncle who sees her aunt everywhere. Her journey leads her to camp alone on a long trail, make a new friend, and find answers.
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LibraryThing member briannad84
I read this when I was a kid and decided just to read it again and it is a bit different reading it over as an adult, but still a great book by a great author!
LibraryThing member wyostitcher
Students get to know Zinnia at the beginning of the book and about the special relationship she had with her Aunt and Uncle. She finds out that she too was chasing something when she left to clear the trail. She needed to make herself into someone different from the rest of the family members. She
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had always felt alone and left out. Unfortunately her parents did not realize what was going on because she never complained about others taking things from her or having to live with hand me down items. She began chasing a dream of finding her own place and when she returns she feels she has been replaced and the relationship are different. Zinnia finds a love in Jake and he feels the same towards her. Students who read the book will find they need to develop a voice to be heard and get the attention. As Zinnia finds the old cabin with all the missing items from her aunt and cousin, she realizes they never will be forgotten. She shows she cares for her uncle when she takes him to the cabin. He comes to terms with his chase for his redbird like Zinnia does when she finishes the trail. I did not realize this book was for younger children but would be a good book for students who are struggling readers when they are trying to find their place in the world. There is quite a bit of skipping around at the beginning of the book but as you read you understand the search for self.
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LibraryThing member juniperSun
Read as an adult, great story of a girl who uses nature to work through her guilt about the death of 2 family members. Zinny's family is a bit strange (distracted mother, backbiting sisters, "uncle" who chases after his ghosts) so it's no surprise Zinny needs escape.
LibraryThing member tealightful
"It started out as an ordinary summer. But the minute thirteen-year-old Zinny discovered the old, overgrown trail that ran through the woods behind her family's house, she realized that things were about to change.

Right from the start, Zinny knew that uncovering the trail would be more than just a
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summer project. It was her chance to finally make people notice her, and to have a place she could call her very own. But more than that, Zinny knew that the trail somehow held the key to all kinds of questions. And that the only way to understand her family, her Aunt Jessie's death, and herself was to find out where it went. "

I remember reading this book when it came out. I gobbled up ever word, every phrase; soaked up every wonderful scene of this book. Sharon Creech has a seemingly never-ending well of talent of which we are lucky enough to draw from.

Her characters have so much depth, she does not speak to her young readers as if they are idiots (as some authors do). It's very easy to become absorbed in the worlds and characters of her books and I remember this one being my very favorite. I connected strongly with Zinny, the main character, exploring the world to find herself, to unearth family secrets..

My favorite quote: "“Maybe it was the same with people: if you studied them,you'd see new and different things. But would you like what you saw? Did it depend on who was doing the looking?”
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LibraryThing member luminescent_bookworm
Rating based on how much I enjoyed it as a child. I do plan to re-read it now that I've found a copy at a local used bookstore.
LibraryThing member flackm
This book is about Zinny, a 13-year-old girl, who discovers an overgrown trail behind her family's house. As she clears the trail she finds it is helpful to deal with the guilt as the result of deaths in her family. This is really a story of self-discovery...very nice read.
LibraryThing member flackm
This book is about Zinny, a 13-year-old girl, who discovers an overgrown trail behind her family's house. As she clears the trail she finds it is helpful to deal with the guilt as the result of deaths in her family. This is really a story of self-discovery...very nice read.
LibraryThing member wichitafriendsschool
It started out as an ordinary summer. But the minute thirteen-year-old Zinny discovered the old, overgrown trail that ran through the woods behind her family's house, she realized that things were about to change.Right from the start, Zinny knew that uncovering the trail would be more than just a
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summer project. It was her chance to finally make people notice her, and to have a place she could call her very own. But more than that, Zinny knew that the trail somehow held the key to all kinds of questions. And that the only way to understand her family, her Aunt Jessie's death, and herself was to find out where it went.From Newbery Medal-winning author Sharon Creech comes an intricately woven tale of a young girl who sets out in search of her place in the world—and discovers it in her own backyard.
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LibraryThing member fingerpost
13-year-old Zinny has a slew of brothers and sisters and feels like she is never noticed. When she is in town, people invariably ask her, "Which one are you?" She carries guilt for giving her cousin the whooping cough she died from, though both girls were only four years old at the time. She also
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suspects that she played a role in her aunt's death.
When she discovers a century-old trail that begins at the back of the family property and learns that it once led to a neighboring town miles and miles away, she decides that she must clear the whole trail, and she becomes obsessed with that mission.
She is also trying to cope with 16-year-old neighbor boy who either has a crush on Zinny, or is trying to use her to get to her sister. Zinny can't figure out which, and that frustrates her immensely.
This is a fine coming of age story about a less than perfect girl who the reader will care about and root for even when she is making her worst decisions.
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LibraryThing member Al-G
I read "Walk Two Moons" by Creech a couple of years ago but wasn't aware she had written others, or that some of her characters and locations crossed novels, an interesting concept in itself. I enjoyed this book just as much as the first one and would argue that while this book is targeted to young
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adults it has much to say to less than young adults as well. Zinny is on a journey to repair an old pioneer trail that runs from her town to the next one, a journey of several miles physically. But she is really on a much longer journey and it is both a journey of self-discovery and of life. Repairing the trail and re-opening it helps her deal with loss, with love, with family, and with her own doubts and struggles. Through the work itself, and a few adventures along the way, she comes to an understanding that "there's a very fine line between people in your head and 'real' people out ther." A very enjoyable and readable book with a lot of food for thought even as you savor the wondrous story of a young woman on a search for life and meaning.
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LibraryThing member mutantpudding
This book always kinda scared me when I was younger. The setting is often the protagonist alone in the woods with her memories and guilt and grief, and it freaked me out. But also I think thats one of the reasons I like this book. The story has the reader thinking about death but also family and
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personal journeys and ghosts (both literal and metaphorical). Its a good book.

I like this book and its important to me, but I want to make a note that the love interest subplot bugged the crap out of me because of the age gap. I dont think I saw it as a big deal when I read this book when I was younger but now Im old and cranky and a 16 year old being interested in a girl 3 years younger than him is NOT COOL and also this book did not promote good ideas about boundaries or consent.
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LibraryThing member kaitlynha
Sharon Creech's "Chasing Red Bird" remains one of my favorite childhood books. The book unfolds the protagonist's, Zinnia "Zinny" Taylor's summer discovery of an overgrown trail in the woods behind her family's backyard. As Zinnia unearths the trail she finds her place in the world, answering the
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questions of her life and coming to an understanding of her family's hardships. Beautifully written, with a complex, yet relative story, this work is a must read for all. It definitely merits the 1998 award, ALA Best Book For Young Adult.
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LibraryThing member snapplechick
Really good, unexpected plot. Interesting middle and surprising end makes for a great story.
LibraryThing member nancynova
Lovely coming of age story set in Kentucky. Zinny is just one of the passel of "Taylors" that no one can tell apart. At the beginning of the summer, she comes across an old trail and when she finds out that it was paved with shale at one time, she decides that she will repair all 20 miles of the
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Bybank-Chocton trail by herself. During all the time that this takes to do, she discovers a lot about her family, and herself. Redbird is the nickname of her aunt, recently deceased and she & her uncle catch glimpses of red in the forest, convinced that redbird is visiting them....or was it a cardinal?
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Pages

272

Rating

(275 ratings; 4.1)
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