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The Aviary Paperback – September 11, 2012

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Editorial Reviews


Kirkus Reviews, September 1, 2011:
"An absorbing mix of talking birds, ghostly messages, kidnapped children, magic spells & tragic family secrets."

School Library Journal. November 1, 2011:
“O’Dell weaves a tapestry of hauntingly gorgeous imagery with this atmospheric tale of suspense, magic, and adventure. Readers will be captivated from the first page on.”

Booklist, October 1, 2011:
"O’Dell has crafted a terrific story with just the right degree of horror."

From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

KATHLEEN O'DELL was named a Publishers Weekly Flying Start Author for her much-praised debut novel, Agnes Parker . . . Girl in Progress. She's also the author of YA novel Bad Tickets on the Knopf list. She lives with her husband and sons in Glendale, California.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Yearling; Reprint edition (September 11, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375852263
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375852268
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 7.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (238 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #80,070 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 43 people found the following review helpful By L. Reyes on October 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I'm not a big fan of historical fiction, but The Aviary and its characters drew me in and held my attention all the way to the last page. Kathleen O'Dell did a remarkable job with the historical feel of this story. It is beautifully written. And the magic and mystery surrounding the deaths of the Glendoveer children kept me turning the pages. I would gladly recommend this to anyone. I don't know the author personally, so my review is completely unbiased. I just really enjoyed this book.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By yoni on May 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Generally, books you have to read for school are not the most enjoyable ones. With The Aviary, by Kathleen Odell, however, I must say I was pleasantly surprised. A gripping mystery that has you hooked from the beginning, The Aviary is a book that should definitely be read.

This book tells the story of a young girl, Clara, who lives and works in the house of an old woman, Mrs. Glendoveer. She has lived in the house for all of her life, and cannot leave because she has a serious heart condition. In the yard outside the house, there is an aviary that houses mysterious birds. The peculier birds seem to be trying to tell Clara something, and she is determined to find out what their message is. Her confusion deepens when she discovers the tragedy of the Glendoveers, that their children were kidnapped and murdered, and hears some horrible rumors about them. Clara does not believe the rumors, and sets out on an amazing quest to try to solve this mystery and clear the Glendoveers' name.

From the moment I started reading this book, I knew it was something special. The author thrusts you directly into the plot from the very beginning of the story and keeps you guessing and on the edge of your seat, throughout the twists and turns, until the final revelation at the end. Clara, the main character is portrayed as a compelling figure who shows determination and courage to uncover the truth regardless of her personal struggles, or what others think.

In this novel, Odell brilliantly incorporates a mix of fantasy, mystery, action and suspense, into one amazing book. I would definitely recommend this to anybody in middle through high school, looking for a great read. I hope you like the book as much as I did. Enjoy.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By R.A. Nelson on October 17, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I can't say enough good things about this book. O'Dell is a gifted writer (I loved her Agnes series as well), and this breakout novel has a classic feel that is amazingly authentic to the period. I love the mystery at the heart of the story, and the characters are fully realized and delightful, especially Clara Dooley, the main character who is practically a prisoner in her own home. Chilling and wonderful, a story you won't forget. I've already seen The Aviary popping up on mock-Newbery lists.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. Olsen on October 18, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Combining the best elements of classic children's storytelling with O'Dell's sparkling style, this wonderful novel has everything you look for in an absorbing midgrade read. A spooky, crumbling mansion, ghosts, a murder mystery, plenty of delicious clues, mysterious enchantments, true friendship and a heroine as plucky as you could ever want. Clara is a girl of her time but modern girls will relate to her warmth, courage and longing for adventure and an escape from her restricted life. At heart, a beautiful story of family, The Aviary will keep young readers turning the pages, anxious to find out if Clara can discover the fate of the Glendoveer children in time and free herself.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Ezra on May 29, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Book Review- The Aviary
Ezra Quint
English 5
Mr. Border

"The Aviary" was written by Kathleen O'Dell, and is a fictional book. The genre is historical mystery. It is about a murder in a river that killed five young children and a nanny. The book's main character, Clara, embarks on a long mission to find the sixth missing child, and to learn more about the deaths of the children. This book has many surprises that no one would suspect, and is full of great suspense.
Clara Dooly lives in a big house with her mother, Ruby the cook, and the old Mrs. Glendoveer. While Clara reads many books and does work in the house, her mother, Harriet Dooley, doesn't let her out of the house. Clara, who has no real outside friends, is tutored by the frail Mrs. Glendoveer. One day, Clara is looking outside a window in the mansion and comes across a young schoolgirl passing by looking at her. Clara is excited by this event because it is the chance for her to make her first friend. The two make eye contact, and later trade letters to each other, and secretly become best friends. The new friend, Daphne, wants to learn everything she can about the mysterious Clara. Both girls dig deep into the family legacy of the now late Mrs. Glendoveer, and come across many mysteries that they so dearly want to learn about. Clara is doing this against the rules of her mother, who has no idea what she is up to. In the meantime, Clara begins to develop a relationship with the five birds in the aviary in her backyard garden. The five birds inhabit the souls of the five diseased Glendoveer children, and Clara has to find the missing child, Elliot, in order for the birds to be set free. Clara and Daphne try to contact an old friend of Mr. and Mrs.
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