Each Little Bird That Sings

by Deborah Wiles

Paperback, 2006



Call number

PB Wil

Call number

PB Wil

Local notes

PB Wil




Scholastic (2006), Edition: First Edition, 247 pages


Comfort Snowberger is well acquainted with death since her family runs the funeral parlor in their small southern town, but even so the ten-year-old is unprepared for the series of heart-wrenching events that begins on the first day of Easter vacation with the sudden death of her beloved great-uncle Edisto.


Original publication date


Physical description

247 p.

User reviews

LibraryThing member makeart2
This is one of those heartwarming children's stories that everyone should read. It handles the difficult issue of death with warmth and humor. It is one of the BEST books I have ever read, you should read it.
LibraryThing member la_librarian
Each little bird that sings is wonderful story for any young person that has experienced a loss in their lives. Comfort Snowberger's family runs a funeral home and it seems that she is more comfortable with dying and death than most adults. She believes that death is a part of life...until she
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loses something she didn't expect to lose. Wiles handles the emotions of loss well coming from several losses in the past years herself. Highly recommended for middleschoolers.
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LibraryThing member bibliophile26
This is the author of one of my favorite children's books, Ruby Lavender. The story of a little girl growing up in a funeral home surrounded by death. Funny at times, and very heartwrenching
LibraryThing member cabiblioraven
Good book for fourth graders to sixth graders in dealing with loss and death.
LibraryThing member MellonLibrary
Grade 4-6–"I come from a family with a lot of dead people." So begins this narrative by 10-year-old Comfort Snowberger, who prides herself on taking death in stride–after all, her family owns and operates the funeral parlor in the small town of Snapfinger, MS. Then loss hits closer to home,
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first with the death of Great-uncle Edisto and, a few months later, with Great-great-aunt Florentine. During a storm on the way to the cemetery, flooding causes an accident involving Comfort; her irritating, emotional cousin, Peach; and her beloved dog, Dismay, who drowns. Interspersed throughout is the story of the girl's changing relationship with her friend Declaration Johnson, who seems to be dropping her. Comfort writes and submits "Life Notices" (as opposed to Death Notices) to the Aurora County News, along with such items as her "Top Ten Tips for First-rate Funeral Behavior" ("This is not a good time to remind the family that the deceased owes you money"), and, for friends, a recipe or two. Sensitive, funny, and occasionally impatient, Comfort is a wholly sympathetic protagonist who learns that emotions may not be as easy to control as she had assumed. While the book is a bit too long and some of the Southern eccentricity wears thin, this is a deeply felt novel.
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LibraryThing member ewyatt
Comfort Snowberger lives in a funeral home. She is an avid writer, writing life notices instead of death notices and writing rules for proper funeral behavior. After a couple losses in her family, a strained relationship with her best friend Declaration, and a long visit from her pesky-cousin,
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Comfort feels like her life is out of control. Comfort learns a lot of valuable life lessons over the course of the novel. A really cute, touching read!
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LibraryThing member yorkie1887
A story about a girl who isn't afraid to be different.This book also gives you an inside peek at what it is like to work at a funeral home
LibraryThing member readingrat
Down-home characters, a loyal dog, and wonderfully touching messages concerning love and loss give this book a feel that brought to mind "Because of Winn Dixie".
LibraryThing member yamatos
When ten-year-old Comfort Snowberger has to deal with the sudden death of her Great-uncle Edisto and Great-great-aunt Florintine she has to deal with her very obnoxious cousin Peach,who gets Comfort in a lot of trouble. A lot of horriable things happen during this sad time. While a walk ,Peach and
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Comfort get stuck in a flood and Comfort loses her dog Dismay while saving Peach's life.
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LibraryThing member jepeters333
10-year-old Comfort Snowberger knows a thing or two about death. Her family owns the town funeral home and she has attended 247 funerals. She can tell you which casseroles are worth tasting, whom to sit next to, and whom to avoid at all costs. Number one on that Avoid list is Comfort's sniveling,
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whining, unpredictable cousin Peach, who ruins every family occasion. So when Great-great-aunt Florentine drops dead - just like that - Comfort expects a family gathering to remember.
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LibraryThing member tpedroza
Even though Comfort Snowberger lives in a funeral home, she wasn't quite prepared to handle the deaths of both Great Uncle Enesto and Great Aunt Florentine in the same year. To make matters worse, her immature cousin Peach visits each time and causes commotion during the services. And why is
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Declaration, Comfort's best friend, acting so funny? When Comfort's dog Dismay goes missing, it's the last thing that Comfort can take.
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LibraryThing member MandaW
I really enjoyed this book, even though it was quite sad. I believe it would be a good book to give a child who is going through the loss of a loved one (or a pet). 5 stars.
LibraryThing member ChristianR
Although this was a National Book Award Finalist, I was not won over. It was written from the point of view of Comfort, a girl who lives with her family in a local funeral home. To me, this is the type of book that adults will think is wise, and everyone in the family in the book is portrayed as
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wise, but children readers will not relate to them. Nevertheless, I am probably wrong and some more sensitive children will turn to this for inspiration and comfort. I wish I had liked it more.
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LibraryThing member athevowel
Ten-year-old Comfort Snowberger, of Snowberger’s Funeral Home in Snapfinger, Mississippi, is accustomed to death. However, after the loss of her Great-great-aunt Florentine, Comfort must attend to her obnoxious and emotionally fragile cousin, Peach, despite a devastating fight with her best
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friend and her own feelings of grief. Comfort’s only reliable companion is Dismay, her delightfully expressive “feel-good” dog. At the suspenseful climax of this novel, Comfort, Peach, and Dismay are swept away in a flash flood and Comfort is forced to save her cousin at the expense of her dog. As she learns the value of family, forgiveness, and friendship, readers will feel Comfort’s wrenching grief and appreciation for life. Wiles brings these characters and their sleepy southern town to life against the backdrop of death. The addition of Comfort’s recipes, Life Notices, and tips for funeral behavior provide humorous relief and further endear Comfort to readers. Each Little Bird That Sings is a celebration of life which will appeal to many young readers, particularly those who are dealing with a loss of their own.
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LibraryThing member jasminemarie
This book is about a girl whose family lives in a funeral home. Not the typical childhood one expects. Most of my students have enjoyed this book each year even though it pushes them to think about death in a way that they probably have not experienced before. As 5th graders, some of my students
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aren't mature enough to "get" the story, but overall it is well-received by most of my students each year.
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LibraryThing member alyssabuzbee
Wonderful story about a girl who grows up in a funeral home. She deals with death in her family and relationships with her cousin and best friend as they change. I found this books very honest portrayal of death and dying very refreshing.
LibraryThing member Whisper1
Oh how I love this tale! Told from the perspective of ten year old Comfort Snowberger whose family owns the small town funeral home, this is such a delightful book that each page is filled with humor, poignancy and wisdom.

No stranger to the grief of others, Comfort witnessed 247 funerals. When
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funeral #248 is that of her beloved Great, Great Aunt Florence, quickly followed by funeral #248 of loving, kind Uncle Edisto, Comfort realizes that "Life is full of surprises, not all of them good."

When her childhood friend betrays her and her cousin Peach gets on her every last nerve, she has her wonderful dog Dismay to get her through.

spoiler --- When Dismay tragically is lost, Comfort's grief is severe. Realizing that we grieve in equal measure to the love we received and give, Comfort incredibly shines through.

This is a book of hope, of sunshine through the rain, of images that melt your heart and then make you laugh right out loud.

With characters named Tidings, Comfort, Dismay, Baby Merry, Declaration and Peach, the creativity leaps from the pages.

Highly Recommended!
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LibraryThing member midkid88
This was a good book although I wasn't sure where it was leading me (which I suppose could be a good thing). The story is all about a girl whose family lives above thier funeral home and how she handles a couple of tragedies that comes her way. Especially Peach.
LibraryThing member MaestraDixon
This book contained an interesting mixture of comedy, sadness, loss, and hope. The characters' names are unique and quirky like their characterizations (ie: Comfort, Bunch, Joy, Tidings, Peach, Declaration, and Dismay.) Comfort is a ten-year-old girl to whom funerals are a way of life. Her hobbies
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include writing life notices (obituaries) and a funeral recipe cookbook, and making up her own homework assignments. What I love about her is that she is a writer at heart and she spends time in her room writing letters and books, journaling, and crafting creative life notices for the paper. Part of the story is told through her own expressive writing. I know this would have been inspiring for me when I was 10-12 years old and liked to write.

The loss in this story is poignant, but tempered by facts about funerals, humorous events, and a surprise change of character for Peach.

I would recommend this book for students who are interested in writing, or who have not recently lost someone close to them. I'm sure it would be much harder for someone who had experienced a recent loss to read this book.
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LibraryThing member bridgetrwilson
A lovely book set in an eccentric southern town.
LibraryThing member satyridae
I am at best lukewarm about this book. The problems I had with it range from the niggling (why does everyone have to have such a stupid-ass name?) to the troublesome (these people are all too good or too bad to be true). I hated the dog's name, because I couldn't get away from the feeling that
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Dismay was Sorrow Lite (less flatulent, unstuffed).

OTOH, I found the protagonist's journey through some tough times to be well-imagined and accessible. I liked the unrelieved sadness, of course.

But I can't get over the twee factor.
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LibraryThing member BookConcierge
Book on CD performed by Kim Mai Guest

From the book cover Comfort Snowberger is an Explorer, a Recipe Tester, and a Funeral Reporter. Writing about dead people might seem like a strange hobby for a ten-year-old, but Comfort grew up in a funeral home, so she knows how to deal with death.
Or at least
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she thinks she does until Great-great-aunt Florentine drops dead – just like that – and everything starts going wrong. Suddenly Comfort’s sniveling, whiny cousin Peach won’t leave her alone. And her best friend, Declaration, whom she could always count on before, has turned downright mean. So now, even if it means missing the most important funeral of her life, all Comfort really wants to do is sit in her closet with her dog, Dismay, and hide.
But then something happens that makes Comfort realize how strong she really is … all on her own.

My reactions
This is a lovely Southern coming-of-age story that deals frankly but gently with the realities of death, in a manner that children can easily understand. I loved Comfort and how genuinely compassionate she was, even when exasperated beyond endurance by her eight-year-old cousin’s “ruining everything.” She is obviously loved by an extended family, and cherishes her particular role in the family’s funeral business. She’s imaginative and self-confident, but not immune to the hurts of childhood or feeling selfish. She’s a wonderful character. Her indomitable spirit will endear her to readers.

Fair warning … while this is a generally happy, hopeful book, you will need some tissues. ‘Nuff said.

Kim Mai Guest does a fine job of reading the audiobook version. She really brought the book to life with her performance. She has a perfect “whiny” Peach voice that just made me laugh, and made me as exasperated with him as Comfort obviously was. And her gentle Mama’s voice was the perfect balm during those sections that were more stressful.
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LibraryThing member Cheryl_in_CC_NV
Interesting, creative, probably helpful to kids who will have to face death and other forms of loss. But for some reason it just didn't ring fully authentic in my heart. And I thought the main character was written just a bit superficially - I just didn't feel her sincerity when she tried to be
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emotionally brave, and usually she was implausibly self-centered. Not a bad book, but not recommended.
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LibraryThing member fingerpost
This is a five star book, no question. But it is one of the saddest books I have ever read. I don't think my eyes were free of tears for the last 100 pages of the book.

Comfort Snowberger (most of the characters have exceptionally odd names) is the 10 year old daughter in a family owned funeral
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home. Like the TV series Six Feet Under, the family lives upstairs, and the funeral home business is downstairs. Unlike Six Feet Under, this is the very opposite of a dysfunctional family. Mother, father, and three children, along with a great-great aunt and uncle, all live in harmony and love together (as long as little cousin Peach doesn't come to visit.)

But then death comes calling. And it's different when it's members of Comfort's own family, than when it is other people in the community. Comfort's best friend, Declaration has spontaneously decided to be mean to Comfort, and a few months after her great-great uncle's death, her great-great aunt follows.

And that's just the beginning. To say much more would give away too much.

I highly recommend the book, but if, like me, you are prone to tears - read it alone in a private place. And if you don't like sad books, do not walk, RUN away from this one!
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LibraryThing member LibroLindsay
Somewhat conflicted...I thought it was a really good book about dealing with the death of a pet, but I couldn't stand the characters. I probably wouldn't have finished it if it weren't for class. And Declaration was pretty horrible. Maybe she learned her lesson in the end, but some "mistakes" are
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too much. She can go learn to be a good friend to someone else.

Liked this when it was My Girl.
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(226 ratings; 4.1)
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