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Children's Fiction General

Helen’s Birds

by (author) Sara Cassidy

illustrated by Sophie Casson

Publisher
Groundwood Books Ltd
Initial publish date
Sep 2019
Category
General, Friendship, Death & Dying
  • Hardback

    ISBN
    9781773060385
    Publish Date
    Sep 2019
    List Price
    $18.95
  • eBook

    ISBN
    9781773060392
    Publish Date
    Sep 2019
    List Price
    $10.99

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 6 to 9
  • Grade: 1 to 4
  • Reading age: 6 to 9

Description

From Sara Cassidy, acclaimed author of A Boy Named Queen, comes a stunning wordless graphic novel about friendship, loss and hope.

For as long as Saanvi can remember, she has been friends with her elderly neighbor Helen. They play cards and garden together and, especially, care for the wild birds that visit Helen’s yard. When Helen dies suddenly, a “For Sale” sign goes up, and movers arrive, emptying the house of its furniture and stripping the yard of its birdfeeders. The sparrows and hummingbirds disappear.

Soon a bulldozer tears down Helen’s house. All winter, Saanvi walks numbly past the property as developers begin to build condos. Then one spring day, amid the dust and turmoil of construction, she finds a weathered playing card wedged between two rocks. She holds it to her chest, and finally sobs.

After a tearful night, Saanvi wakes inspired. She slathers peanut butter on pinecones to hang from tree branches, hammers together a birdhouse from scrap wood and drags a kitchen stool outside to hold a bowl of water. Finally, she retrieves a nest that has been unraveling on Helen’s old property and places it in a tree in her own yard. Saanvi’s yard soon fills with Helen’s birds. They have a home again.

This beautifully illustrated, wordless graphic novel shows Saanvi’s journey through close friendship, then hollowing loss and change, until she finally finds hope.

Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.4.1
Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.

 

About the authors

Les livres de Sara Cassidy ont &eacutet&eacute finalistes pour de nombreux prix : le Chocolate Lily Award pour Black Gold et Blackberry Juice ; le Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Award pour A Boy Named Queen ; le Bolen Books Children’s Book Prize pour Skylark ainsi que le Kirkus Prize for Young Readers’ Literature. Deux de ses titres, A Boy Named Queen et Double Play, ont &eacutet&eacute s&eacutelectionn&eacutes par la Junior Library Guild. Sara Cassidy a publi&eacute de nombreux recueils de po&eacutesie, œuvres de fiction et ouvrages documentaires pour adultes. Elle vit &agrave Victoria en Colombie-Britannique.

Sara Cassidy's profile page

Sophie Casson has illustrated a number of children’s books, including The Artist and Me by Shane Peacock, a finalist for the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award, and Quelle pagaille! by Danielle Marcotte and Laurence-Aurélie Théroux-Marcotte, a finalist for the Governor General’s Award. Her highly acclaimed illustrations are inspired by Japanese woodblock prints and World War II–era posters. Sophie’s award-winning work has also appeared in many international publications, including the Globe and Mail, the New York Times, Financial Times, Los Angeles Times and Nature, as well as in the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. Sophie lives in Montreal. sophiecasson.com

Sophie Casson's profile page

Awards

  • Commended, OLA Best Bets
  • Commended, Globe 100 List

Other titles by Sara Cassidy

Other titles by Sophie Casson