Bird in a Box

By Andrea Davis Pinkney

May 01, 2011 | Reviewed by TFK Kid Reporter Lucy Corlett

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Number of pages: 228

What's the basic story line?

This book is about three children who are trying to find their place in the world during the Great Depression. Otis, who likes to tell jokes, lost his parents in a car crash. Willie, whose passion is boxing, has an alcoholic and abusive father who hurts him badly by maiming his hands. The two boys meet in an orphanage after Willie's mother sends him there to protect him from his father. The third child, Hibernia, is the daughter of a local minister. She dreams of becoming a nightclub singer, like her runaway mother. The children are brought together in the end to listen to radio coverage of the champion boxer Joe Louis.

Are the characters believable?

Yes, these characters are believable. There were many orphans like Otis during the Great Depression. Sadly, there will always be child-abuse victims like Willie as well. And there will never be an end to the people with faraway dreams and hope in their hearts like Hibernia. The book gives you a sense of what it was like to be an African-American child in 1936.

On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being best), how would you rate this book?

I rate this book a 10, because the characters are extremely heartfelt and believable. The book allows readers to see how people handled the poverty, joblessness, despair and hopelessness of the Great Depression, and how they lived through it, despite the harsh conditions they faced.


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