I read this book when I was about 13. Although that was years ago, I still own it and still look back at it fondly. This is a great book. The main character is not your typical medieval damzel in distress, she has an intellect and humor that is refreshing. The book provides good historical details into medieval life. The ending is good, and historically accurare. I would wholey recommend this book for anyone who likes historical fiction, not just YA readers.
A Must Read for Young Girls
Published by Thriftbooks.com User , 17 years ago
This book was recommended by a friend. After enjoying every page, I put it on the pillow of my 11 year old granddaughter. She had finished it by the next morning, and loved it. It is a story of a stubborn 14 year old girl coping with the expectations of a 13th century family. Talk about a dose of reality! Read it, whether you are 11 or 70.
Inside of the Cunning Catherine Called Birdy
Published by Thriftbooks.com User , 22 years ago
Karen Cushman did an incredible job when she wrote Catherine Called Birdy, because the book is one in which you see a different time through a young woman's eyes. Catherine, the main character, is a girl that is smarter, and more cunning, and gets herself into more trouble than most guys. She can even read and write! The book is set in the Middle Ages, in the countryside. Catherine finds her life fine apart from the fact that her father is trying to marry her off as though she's a piece of meat. She has a few devious plans for keeping the suitors away, but they can't work forever. Or can they? One impressive twist through out the story is something to do with romance, or actually no romance. Catherine Called Birdy isn't one of those mushy and compassionate books. Catherine is not exactly the type of girl that enjoys wearing frilly dresses, and the only way she thinks of boys is as friends. I'm sure that if Catherine were alive today she would rather play football, compared to jump rope. Catherine Called Birdy has some memorable characters. Her mother is a timid lady, and her father is a gruff man who is sort of slow, but he does have a lot of pride. There is also a sensitive side to her father, but to find out about that you'll have to read the book. One funny thing in the book is how Catherine and her best friend Perkins manage to execute so many of their tricks to out smart her father. Another funny thing is some of the tricks that Catherine pulled off to drive away the men who were trying to court her. One reason that I would not have read this book, if it had not been assigned, is that it is in diary form. Most diaries are incredibly stop and go, and they make you feel not at all connected with the book and its characters. Catherine Called Birdy is different. It has a real flow to it, and you feel like you are Catherine. You should read this book because it has a plot that is full of little adventures, and you will fall in love with the characters. Can you imagine being a tomboy in the Middle Ages with men coming to buy you to marry you? Even if you can't, you will love this book. This is one book, one girl and a lot of attitude! Trust me, read Catherine Called Birdy!
Let's hear it for Catherine!
Published by Thriftbooks.com User , 23 years ago
From the first time I read this book in 6th grade,I loved it. Two years later,I bought it and "The Midwife's Apprentice" at a school book fair and enjoyed it all over again. The ways she got rid of potential suitors were ingenious and amusing! Imagine having to be married at 14 to someone you hate! Some parts were gross,but what do you expect in 13th century England? Birdy managed to cope with it and the dreadfulness of being a woman of the Dark Ages. Her feminism was ahead of its time. She escaped her troubles by writing and pondering,like many teenage girls do today with theirs. I had to remind myself that this wasn't a real diary from 1290-91! It's one of my absolute favorites! A note to other readers: buy it,buy it! Wish there was a sequel (are you reading this,Mrs. Cushman?)
What a great book!
Published by Thriftbooks.com User , 24 years ago
Catherine Called Birdy In an interview, Author, Karen Cushman said the following: "I grew tired of hearing about kings, princes, generals, and presidents. I wanted to know what life was like for ordinary young people in other times." She did that in her book called Catherine Called Birdy. At last, an author has finally written about a younger generation from a long time ago; this is a book written about kids and for kids. Moreover, this book won the prestigious Newbery Award for Literature because of its originality, humor, romance, and its application towards audiences of all ages. I was astonished by how comical the book was. I personally enjoyed the book thoroughly. The characterization in this novel is impressive because the people sound like young people in the 1200's. Catherine, called Birdy, is a young girl who is the daughter of a manor keeper in 13th century England. She is a saucy, young 14-year-old girl who hates her father; also, Catherine bitterly hates her own life. She does not have good self-esteem and, in fact, she thinks of herself quite poorly. She describes herself as unlady-like, ugly, bitter, and stubborn. She hates her father because he is an embittered and nasty man: he is not a good role model for his daughter. He is mean to all the people of the manor. He is also quite mean to her. This main character, Catherine, is faced with quite a dilemma. She is trying to decide which dirty, greedy, rich man to marry throughout the book. In fact, Cat's greedy father insists on her marrying a man who is rich; he believes this will give him more opportunity if she marries a wealthy man. Another main character is called Perkin. Perkin is a poor boy who tends the goats, and Catherine really likes him, but only as a friend. He is one of Catherine's only companions. He also likes her as a good friend. He could be described as gentlemanly and full of integrity. Morwenna is also a big part of Catherine's life. She used to be like her mother, but now that Catherine is grown up, she considers herself more as Catherine's nurse. Basically, the book progresses as Catherine meets more and more men. Finally, after a while, the decision is made that Catherine would marry a fellow who she really did not like; he is called Shaggy Beard. This book is definitely a winner. It teaches many life lessons. For example, one such lesson is to treasure your freedom. It teaches the reader this by making him/her feel grateful that he/she is not in poor Catherine's position. The book also gives us an idea of what life was like for a normal girl back in those times as well as what the people were like in those olden times. One might be astonished by how primitive they and their culture were, for instance, the way the men treated the women and the crude language the people used. Another aspect of the book, which is worth making note of, is the fact that the author wrote the book as each day progressed in Catheri
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